Frequently, I am asked about cultural differences between Portugal and the UK, mainly (if not only) by Nicky. Being in Portugal certainly makes it easier to spot the differences between PT and the UK.
As I sunbathed this afternoon, I thought about Little Miss Joey the blog and what I wanted to write about today. I realised I was just laying there, having read three books already and watched a film and slept more hours than I care to count. I actually managed to just lay there and indulge! The dolce fare niente so well popularised by Italians was coming over me and guess what? I did not feel guilty. Not a bit of guilt! Not even a tiny wee bit of it! Here I can just indulge and let myself go in whatever thoughts I have or don't have without feeling I should be more productive. I know my Grandma always said idle hands are a waste, but even Grandma allowed herself to indulge and spared the time to contemplate life. Yes, even Grandma.
As I lay there sunbathing, I realised that even though I do love my life and my life in Oxford, there is a pressure, imaginary or not, to always do something. Enjoying the nothingness and its pleasures is odd and rare and almost impossible to achieve. Of course what I do and don't do is my own choice in the end and I guess I have more nothing time than most of my friends, but believe me, compared to real nothing, my Oxford nothing is like a heavy workout.
In Portugal, time exists for nothing. Doing nothing for a bit is ok. And that means we have quality of life. As you may know, we don't have much else at the moment (and don't get me started on that country that coincidentally starts with an F!), but we know how to appreciate life's little things and we know that is important for our well being. The joke is obvious with our current state of affairs, but trust me on this… it is good to know how to enjoy nothing. It allows your body and mind to recover for all else you have happening. Plus it is just damn good 🙂
So I was saying… as I lay there sunbathing I realised something… I should do this more often!