This New Year, Resolve To Do Nothing

In the colder months of the year, after the garden tools and camping gear are stowed, out come the bird feeders and in comes a nightly rite known as Bird Hour. It’s that time just before dusk, the dinner rush for all the winged winter residents just before they — and I — settle in for a long winter’s night. Bird Hour is a special time of day; I resent the days when I’m so rushed or otherwise occupied that I miss it.

 I have a dear friend who lives a few hours away who also pauses at Bird Hour. It’s comforting to know that whatever the day might bring, the chickadees, cardinals, finches, nuthatches, titmice, and all the others will stop by — and that I am sharing a silent moment with a kindred spirit two hundred miles away.

This time of year, many of us make resolutions, usually about what we are going to do. Go to the gym more often, eat healthier, drink less, write a best seller. Whatever your resolution is, I wish you all the best, and encourage you to add a bold resolution to do nothing. Nothing at all, each day, for some brief moment.

Maybe you’re not the Bird Hour sort. Maybe for you, it’s spending a few minutes each day with old photo albums, maybe it’s standing outside in the cold, or staring at the fire. If you have a special someone, you can do nothing together. 

Forget productivity for a few minutes. Rest. Be idle for a spell each day. It’s a resolution you’ll keep once you try it.

That’s my New Year’s Wish for you.

Be well,
David Lillard