Mindful Living

Taking Time To Stand and Stare

Taking time to do nothing Vidya Sury

“What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.”

I learned that poem by W.H.Davies in school and loved it. For some reason it has stayed with me, sitting in my mind, perhaps as a reminder for those days when I let myself feel overwhelmed. In a good way, though.

So anyway, I was basking in the warmth and glow of some emails I received (thank you!), asking why I hadn’t written anything here “for a while”. I was thrilled that I was “missed”.  Especially because I had posted once after Jan 1. I had two posts ready to go, but never got around to clicking the “publish” button because I got caught up with work deadlines for a couple of clients.

But I have been posting on my other blogs, here and here. Not saying I didn’t feel a twinge of guilt at seemingly ignoring my first blog baby . . . simply because it is a rare occurrence that I’d post only once in 13 days!

I must say it nicely tied in with my intentions for 2017—being more focused on my “wishlist” and “intentions”. Some of you may call these resolutions, but what’s in a name. I prefer to see them my way. And since I made them in the last week of December, what better time to implement, than with the start of the New Year?

I started 2017 by combining two things on my list. Travel and . . . doing nothing.

Well, almost.

I left on 31 Dec and returned on 3 Jan. Here is what I did for three days.

Stayed in one of the hostel rooms on campus

Ate in the hostel mess

Drank coffee from the machine near the security guard

Taking time to do nothing Vidya Sury

Spent time in nature

Taking time to do nothing Vidya Sury

Read a few books

Walked a lot

Thought a lot

Laughed a lot

Birdwatched

Observed, watched people

Played with my friend who had just turned 4

Lazed a little

Met friends on campus

Made lists for when I returned home

Admired these biker babes

Taking time to do nothing Vidya Sury

Enjoyed time with myself

Sat on a bench in the sunshine, watching the swaying trees, listening to birdsong

Gazed up at the blue sky

Taking time to do nothing Vidya Sury

Listened to the crunch of leaves under my feet, then tried to walk, crushing as few as possible

Watched puppies playing, cuddling up with their mama.

Taking time to do nothing Vidya Sury

Taking time to do nothing Vidya Sury

Taking time to do nothing Vidya Sury

Taking time to do nothing Vidya Sury

Looked at this mama enjoying a siesta

Taking time to do nothing Vidya Sury

Received hardly any phone calls

Checked email just once a day

Talked to my neighbors at home on the phone, just for fun

Had long leisurely baths

Strangely started my day with tea, because no coffee in the mess, and was fine with it

Was enthralled by the abundance of flowers

Taking time to do nothing Vidya Sury

Started New Year’s day with no coffee first thing in the morning, and was cool with it

Didn’t talk much

Clicked hundreds of photos, and video

Actually took a (gasp!) selfie! Couldn’t help myself!

Looked at this bee

Taking time to do nothing Vidya Sury

Found myself smiling a lot . . . still am!

On the day of my return flight, the airline called to say that my 8.15 am flight was now rescheduled to 12.15 pm, which basically meant leaving a few hours later. I felt grateful, since I was supposed to leave at 6 am—and it is pretty cold in the mornings there.  With the reschedule, it meant I could wake up a bit later, enjoy breakfast, watching students rush about and head to class, followed by looking at the six puppies play before I left for the airport.

Taking time to do nothing Vidya Sury

Taking time to do nothing Vidya Sury

Taking time to do nothing Vidya Sury

Taking time to do nothing Vidya Sury

Once I got back, I settled into my usual routine, feeling all pepped up after my short break.

So that’s what’s been up with me.

What have you been up to? Anything significant in the first half of January? Looking forward to anything? Do tell, in the comments.

Happy Sankranti / Lohri / Pongal!

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21 Comments

  • Reply
    Lisa Pomernatz
    January 14, 2017 at 1:33 am

    Looks wonderful. Anything, with puppies added, are wonderful. I hope you are all smiles! Nice to read you again Vidya! namaste

  • Reply
    Rachna
    January 14, 2017 at 9:41 am

    Loved those puppy pics. So glad you took time off. It is important to recharge our batteries like this. First half of January has been eventful for me. Will write a post to mention exactly what. Hope you have a great rest of January, Vidya.

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      January 14, 2017 at 10:02 am

      True, Rachna. Puppies are always a source of joy. “Happiness is a warm puppy”. And out of the six, one kept following me around whenever I went that side, so sweet. I confess I named all of them in my head. Spent hours watching them play.

      Looking forward to your post. (What news of the certification?) ♥. Wish you a great Jan and the rest of the year too! ♥
      Vidya Sury recently posted…6 proven steps to instant happinessMy Profile

  • Reply
    Shailaja
    January 15, 2017 at 5:56 am

    I adore those puppies! Every moment of your day /week seems to have been spent with such intent and mindfulness. So happy for you. And see, Tea is always around. Dependable and comfortable, like good friends.
    Shailaja recently posted…Ways to combat social media fatigueMy Profile

  • Reply
    Birgit
    January 15, 2017 at 9:16 am

    It sounds like you had. Magical beginning to the new year. I love these puppy pictures too and hope they will be ok and have Happy owners. I wish I could say I have done something profound but I have just been taking down decorations, cleaning, going back to work, groceries, seeing my mom and watching movies at night. My one dear friend, on the other hand, asked me what my plans are I. The next while. I told him the above and hope to sort through some stuff. I asked hi what he is doing….he leaves tomorrow for a 2 week vacation to Borneo where he will be hiking. The rain forests. I asked him To take lots of pictures.
    Birgit recently posted…Thursday Movie Picks-Fashion WorldMy Profile

  • Reply
    Rajagopal
    January 15, 2017 at 10:25 am

    The retreat of yours makes for a refreshing read and feast for the eyes, Vidya, what with all the pics of trees and flowers against blue skies and rollicking canines amidst a lot of sunshine. Surely promising signs of good days ahead. As for me, I spent the last couple of days of 2016 getting together in a resort hotel with my school class mates many of whom I was setting my eyes on after close to fifty years. We spent a full evening reminiscing on our good old fun times. Seasons greetings to you…
    Rajagopal recently posted…Do I Mind or Do I Matter…My Profile

  • Reply
    Julie
    January 15, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    That is so funny, Vidya! My boys were gone after Christmas for 2 weeks with their father and I had to stay here for work. But that week after Christmas I found myself putting myself on retreat and doing much like you did. It was a time of intense reflection and a reboot. I’m glad you had some time to yourself. Those puppies look like too much fun! Much love to you 🙂

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      January 16, 2017 at 11:38 am

      “Retreat” has such a nice ring to it, Julie! Taking time off is so nice, giving us time to think, and not just about all the things we have to do! And those puppies? Totally adorable! Hugs. So happy to see you here.♥ I wish you a fabulous 2017.
      Vidya Sury recently posted…6 proven steps to instant happinessMy Profile

  • Reply
    Lata Sunil
    January 16, 2017 at 11:24 am

    It is sounding so peaceful and tempting. Just doing nothing instead of worrying about the tasks to be done. Adding it to my wishlist.

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      January 16, 2017 at 11:41 am

      Thank you Lata! It was only three days, but so divine. And I’ve discovered that we don’t have to take a trip to “do nothing”. Absolutely possible at home, even if half a day, or a couple of hours! ♥
      Vidya Sury recently posted…6 proven steps to instant happinessMy Profile

  • Reply
    Shilpa Gupte
    January 16, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    I so loved those puppy pictures, Vidya! It’s so good to just switch off sometimes and enjoy ourselves amidst nature, amidst the nothingness that can indeed be therapeutic!
    I began reading…like crazy. I have ditched Facebook and Twitter and use it only and only to share my blog posts and pictures. I have also begun taking extra interest in cooking and it feels great, learning something new. Now, all that remains is getting back to blogging twice a week with a vigour that seems to have dimmed in the new year. But I am sure that will happen soon, too!

  • Reply
    Obsessivemom
    January 16, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    The bet ever break is the one which has no agenda – where you go with the flow, do nothing but ‘sit and stare’. I had that poem in school too and I loved it.
    Obsessivemom recently posted…Why I sweat the small stuffMy Profile

  • Reply
    Rajlakshmi
    January 17, 2017 at 8:52 am

    Aww you made such beautiful friends. I would like to be their friends too. The time spent with nature is the best and most reproductive I feel. It refreshes you mentally and physically 🙂 beautiful photos.
    Rajlakshmi recently posted…Hiking in Wentworth Falls, AustraliaMy Profile

  • Reply
    Beloo Mehra
    January 17, 2017 at 11:52 am

    Just reading this post made me relax! So happy to hear that you had such a lovely break, doing nothing, just being and taking in all the beauty around you. Those cuddly friends of yours look so cute! And the biker babes are quite dashing, look ready to take on the big world out there. Through your words I could just sense the serenity that you soaked in during your new year break. Lovely photos! And oh, that opening verse in your post has also stayed with me since my school days.
    Beloo Mehra recently posted…Surrender to GuruMy Profile

  • Reply
    Mahevash
    January 17, 2017 at 4:59 pm

    What a lovely way to begin the new year! And I was one of those who missed your posts here <3

    PS my cover's up…brightened it up as you thought it looked kind of dull. Hope you like this one!

  • Reply
    Ramya Abhinand
    January 18, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    A wonderful start to Jan,spent well. Loved the nature walka, and being amist nature. And as inle tioned earlier the click reminded me of a Robert Frost poem. I have off late found loads of time .. to read and write. Have doing both these activities in abundance so far in Jan.
    Ramya Abhinand recently posted…Road From Delhi to Wagah-Attari BorderMy Profile

  • Reply
    Rekha
    January 18, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    Vidya, I really love the way you manage so much even when you say you did nothing. That feeling of contentment is all one actually needs to have. 🙂 Those puppies are the cutest things one gets to see. <3

    The new year hasn't started on a happy note for us, but I still want to remain positive about the remaining year. Hopefully things turn around for the better in a few months. Best wishes to you!
    Rekha recently posted…New Beginnings: Finding Your CallingMy Profile

  • Reply
    Richard Hunsucker
    January 18, 2017 at 8:58 pm

    Sometimes I used to be like this, thinking aside. A stress reliever perhaps.
    Richard Hunsucker recently posted…IM with Jamie ReviewMy Profile

  • Reply
    Nisha Sanjeev
    January 19, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    Beautiful Vidya. In fact, I’ve had a similar urge. And ‘enjoyed’ the fog for the first time in 18 years. Every year, during this foggy season, I would rush to office to file stories about the number of accidents it resulted in and the number of flights cancelled, etc. All gory stuff. But early this time, I walked out, bare feet. Felt the wet grass…and yes, I took a selfie, too. It was sooooo liberating! So I can absolutely understand how you felt. Stay Blessed always Vidya!

  • Reply
    Soumya
    January 19, 2017 at 8:10 pm

    You know I love you right? No matter how tired or exhausted I am after work, I come here and everything just vanishes. I barely find the time to do nothing these days. Although I’m trying a lot to get some me time and do nothing and enjoy the small pleasures of life.

    But I’m glad you got the time off. I’ve lived it through your pictures here now. The two cute puppies, oh man, that is where I always feel pure love!

    Thank you so much for this hottie! Love!
    Soumya recently posted…Corporate Circus #2: Suit UpMy Profile

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