I took two years of Italian in university. My professor was a charming and funny man named Luca who was straight out of the book Italian. Our class was 12 students small and for three hours each week we sat around a large table conversing in Italian. He would often tell us stories about life in Italy and when I mentioned I would be going there in the summer, he clapped his hands together and exclaimed, “Ah, Christina, è una bella vita.” It’s a beautiful life.
It was a beautiful life indeed. Like any big city, there was a busyness in the air but one that was noticeably different from Toronto. People were going places but they walk with a pace of “I’ll get there when I get there”. Lunch isn’t a one hour I’m-on-the-clock affair but a drawn out dining experience. Going to a coffee shop meant relaxing with a beverage and watching the world go by, not staring into a laptop with headphones on. A Monday felt like a Sunday and things felt like it was slowing down.
I came to learn there’s a saying in Italian, “La Dolce Far Niente”, that literally translates to “the sweetness of doing nothing”. Not in the “I did nothing all weekend except eat pizza and watch Netflix” sense but to live life in a slower, more simplistic way. This clip from Eat Pray Love beautifully illustrates the idea:
My life can sometimes feel like an endless list of to-do’s and appointments to meet. Squeezing in phone calls to mom in between a workout and meeting a friend for drinks. It’s just one thing after another. It’s also exhausting.
Life isn’t a ticking time bomb.
Starting today, I’m going to practice more “Dolce Far Niente” by disconnecting myself more from technology and spending my energy on things that either rejuvenates me or inspires me. This includes:
– Taking a cat nap before dinner
– Saying no to invites even when I’m not busy
– No mindless TV watching
– Not reaching for my phone when I’m idling
– Catching up with a friend in person and not through texts or Facebook messages
– Enjoy a meal without anything to read or do
– Lay on my yoga mat in complete silence and do nothing for more than 15 minutes
– Make dinner to jazz music
– Take a day off work to do all of the above
I think we all would like to live a more simple, stress-free life so I invite you to practice “Dolce Far Niente” with me.
How are you planning to do more of nothing?