Recently I was on the phone with two friends who had had a rough year. Like many of us, 2021 was indeed something that narrowed our focus. Like starting our day on the phone, or working on the commuter all day, our minds become closed in, focused, and therefore less away of the rest of the world. This is a very clear and succinct way of describing what I would say is happening day in and day out when we are so focused on getting somewhere, doing something, or trying to get shit done. Its a focusing, as life continues to go on all around us, we only experience and see what we pay attention to. Dawdlism is not just about spending time, money, energy and resources on crafting a more inclusive, generous and creative world, it is about being able to experience it.
Back to my friends, they essentially took 2 months of to travel and slow down in Baja, Mexico. After getting back to a state of equilibrium, focusing on sleep, and general wellness, they also started dreaming, started making, and resolved to stay childish in there dreams of living in Baja for 6 months of every year. We have heard so many similar stories. Most people say something like, that would be great if I could do that. I get it. What I am curious about is why it is so common. Is it travel specifically? I would point to getting to a place of relaxation. A vacation is a week, two weeks, but a trip is a month or more. On trips people come back changed because they mind allows them to tune off of the normal story.
The lore of mindfulness is pretty strong, and the word consciousness has always held a great mystique for me. In fact, it is debated constantly by philsophers, yogis and other spiritually oriented thought leaders. In the instance I will use it here, consciousness can be defined as a state of being present in the moment, aware of what we are experiences, the feelings, emotions, sensations of the current that runs through and amongst us every moment of our lives. Consciousness for the Dawdleur is achieved in many ways, and not necessarily for any sense of self-consciousness, or dropping of ego, or transcendance, although certainly not discouraged. We get to this state by simply being and not doing. Doing, meaning the implicit spending of energy towards a desired outcome. We do ‘do’ meditation, running, crafting, dancing, lounging in the grass, drawing and we ‘do’ practice being in that moment, experiencing that practice. Our body does act and move, our mind does process and give commands, but we are simple humans being, doing human things.
A couple insights into what I mean can be found in the popular lore from COVID quarantine. Mass dawdling brought people into themselves, their community, their experience in profound new ways. They baked sourdough, they fixed up the house, they started gardens and Etsy shops. For the first time people found things they liked to do, for some that was drinking and Netflix binging. But for many, many more than ever before, people found they liked helping their neighbor, bring joy to other people, and they missed sharing meals, hugging, being in an office, or school with their peers. Dawdlism is not about not doing, being lazy, loafing around, again not in any way demonized, but conversley, I think it is important propose an honest way forward out of a growth economy and into a more regerenative world. This requires have the time to slow down enough, to realize what you like to do and how to share that with the world. Our current forms of just-about-everything(JAE) requires(and is built around) the majority of us running on hamster wheels of consumption and being disconnected from ourselves.
It’s okay to have fun along the way. We’ve heard it all before, life is a journey not a destination. Obvious! But are we really believing it? Living for the weekend is missing something. I’ve been there before, getting up at the same time everyday, squeezing a little walk in at lunch, or seeing a friend, or lunch is for appointments, work all afternoon, get an energy slump, got home at the same time, commute. Get home, cook, clean. Do we have time for a hobby or a we too tired, watch something, read, go to sleep.