Time to internalize La Dolce Far Niente

It seems like the older we get, the more we take on. Our passion projects become more intense, jobs become more demanding, families get bigger, time becomes more limited. I constantly feel like I am running from one thing to the next without any break in sight. People always say life is a marathon not a sprint, but lately I have been feeling like my life is one never-ending marathon in the speed of a sprint. Don’t get me wrong, I love it. I love it all. But I do think it's important to stop once in a while… Smell the roses and look at the sky, maybe lie down on a chaise lounge with an aperol spritz in one hand you know… That kind of thing. 

I heard a saying in Italy that has become quite popular, ‘la dolce far niente.’ The sweetness of doing nothing. It is exactly what we need to hear. Not only as individuals but also as a society… We are neck deep in hustle culture trying to make things work without stopping. But creativity flows exactly in those moments where you stop. Stop to think, to dream, to wish… It’s a funny little cycle… We need to do nothing to be able to continue to do more. 

I had a teacher that told me that once. She said you need to be able to stop and do nothing to be able to synthesize everything that you consume on a daily basis. Movies, books, world occurrences, conversations with friends, nature… These all deserve the respect and time to be thought on. Just like a philosopher in ancient Greece, we need to just walk around and think once in a while. And just like a cute little street cat you can come across in İstanbul, you just need to lie in the sun once in a while.  

Think of all the reclining or lounging ladies we have seen in museums and throughout art history. Usually a symbolisation of wealth, I like to think of these women to be more than financially wealthy. I enjoy believing their wealth comes from their ability to lie down and think for hours on end. It comes from creativity and thoughts. Maybe that's not true, but for me it is. And that is exactly what I want for myself and for you all. 

The sweetness of doing nothing comes from simple pleasures. It can be as small as stopping to watch the sky a little bit on your way to work. It can be waking up 30-minutes earlier to slowly drink your coffee before the hectic day begins. It's an ease of mind, a way to accept the day as it comes. 

I like to match la dolce far niente with another little slogan that I tell myself often; “f*ck it we ball.” Pleasure, letting things happen in their own time, stopping, beginning, not taking things too seriously are all part of the message. If you can internalize both, you will be invincible against the challenging, sometimes overconsuming pace of life. Because you will be able to say, ‘actually, I need to stop for a second to enjoy this moment.’ 

Tutto passa,’ everything passes, so you might as well enjoy it while it lasts.