Monday, September 27, 2004


Or, how to dawdle, loaf, or putter to your heart's content

In our time-conscious world -- minutes, hours, and days are only meaningful if they can be organized, measured, prioritized not to mention sliced and diced into "productive" and "non-productive" periods.

It seems anything deemed "time wasting" must be derided and then dropped from all "to do" lists. On the other hand, being "listless" (having no "to do" list or a short one) is a fate worse than death.

If you're not running around thither and yon, fear not. There will always be at least one quidnunc keen on telling you that your life lacks purpose. And, we all know what happens to people without goals and long "to do" lists. They become ill-fated "laggards, lippy "losers" or heaven forbid, "lounge lizards"!

"Fooling around" or, 'living in the moment", is for children and pets only. Grown-ups are not encouraged to dawdle, loaf, putter or simply take time out to smell the roses let alone talk to them. To engage in such "mindless" activities is to invite some incurable dis-ease. Such is life in Lollygaglessland.

However, not being a linear thinker helps when it comes to enjoying the art of lollygagging.

First, toss your cell phone, timepiece, and digital personal assistant for the day. Second, put on some comfy clothes -- or, if you're feeling frightfully funky, just a birthday suit. Next, find a comfortable and cozy thing to sit upon. This is important. Doing so will take a load off your feet, and prevent your brain from becoming clogged, cluttered or crashing like your hapless personal computer. If all else fails, remember, rumination and regurgitation is not in the cards for you today!

So, let your mind wander anywhere it wants. And, stop fretting about the "to do" list" you just turfed along with your bleeping digital devices. Besides, when you do this, you create oodles of space for something you dearly yearn for, peace of mind.

Now that you're feeling all warm and fuzzy, try a bit of doodling, humming, whistling, or even tapping your toes. And, if you really get the urge to move, why not put on your favorite walking shoes and putter anywhere you like. Talk to plants and animals if you wish, and if you've got the gumption, why not strangers ... you just might enjoy what happens without any strings attached.

Lollygagging is all about "being" comfortable with yourself, in your own space and time. Forget all about doing things to win brownie points, gold stars, and frequent flyer miles. Unless you like trying to fit square holes into round pegs, just chill out, powder down, and enjoy life outside the blessed box.

And, when someone asks you what you're doing for the next five minutes, hour, or day...tell them your taking up the lost art of lollygagging. Then watch them furrow their brow as you wink, smile, and walk away.


Readers wishing to learn more about the origin of the word "lollygagging" should probably drop by the "word detective" and snoop around to your heart's content

For more on "fooling around", check out

And for those of you who haven't figured out the merits of communicating with furry critters yet, do take a wee peek at Chandra Clarke's musings on the subject at:

Remember what the 18th century American author, printer, scientist and diplomat Benjamin Franklin said, "The US Constitution does not guarantee happiness, only the pursuit of it. You have to catch up with it yourself."


At 11:34 AM, Blogger None said...

My husband and I took a trip to Jamaica last January. It is amazing how "slow" life is in Jamaica. We would walk up to a drink bar on the beach and order drinks. Even if we were the only people there, it would take about 15 minutes for the bartender to make our drinks. They just always took their time and it was maddening to me because I had to wait so long. I asked myself, "Why are you in such a hurry? You're not going anywhere. You have all day to lounge on the beach and enjoy your drink in the warm sun." I had to keep reminding myself of this. Finally, it worked, and I could relax. (I didn't even wear a watch.) But it was hard learning to relax and enjoy each day!

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