Busy Bees and Peripheral Visions

beeQuestion anyone on a busy street anywhere in the world and ask: “How are you?” The reply could very well be, “I’m busy like everybody.” It’s the mantra of modernity. “Busy, busy” is said as humanity hives the world, but to complain is ineffectual, not to mention, unenjoyable.

You can’t stop busy bees any more than you can stop ants or humans. You can’t change them. Despite the malleability of the human brain (see neuroplasticity), most people don’t (or won’t) change their habits even if it made life more enjoyable for everyone, but there is a loop hole you can use to enjoy your life. What is that loop hole? Enjoyment (your own).

litmusEnjoyment is its own reward. Life isn’t meaningless (see: The Great Big Huge Secret). Let this be your litmus test: In any decision ask: Is it enjoyable? Considering a new job? Is it enjoyable? Considering marriage (or divorce). Is it enjoyable? Whatever the decision, think: Is it enjoyable?

Sometimes the answer won’t be clear-cut. “Should I drive fast?” Is it enjoyable? Yes, but a speeding ticket or crash isn’t. Weigh present enjoyment against future enjoyment. Temper enjoyment with reason and go with the flow. Use an enjoyment strategy.

If you have to do something you don’t enjoy (such is life), you can endure for the sake of future enjoyment or for the enjoyment of having enjoyable thoughts as you do the unenjoyable.

eye2The expression, “If you’re not busy living, you’re busy dying,” takes on significance when considered in light that both occur involuntarily. Life happens. Cause is in affect and vice versa. Society exerts pressures to keep us busy and people judge those who aren’t. If you don’t believe it, try this experiment:

Go some place busy and stand still (without being in the way – that wouldn’t be enjoyable). Look around. Watch the world. Imagine you have a special power to slow time down with your own boredom. Shift the focus of your eyes to the periphery. See from the sides. Listen. Imagine everyone is hypnotized except you. Be brave and look dumb.

earNo doubt you’ll get strange looks. You might get reported for statue behaviour. Serious people will think you’re odd, but who cares? Odd numbers are not divisible by two. If you’re an odd number, you’re alone, but this is your secret power. If you can endure the loneliness, you are home wherever you are.

Lonely souls enjoy a special bond with other lonely souls. Feel sorry for busy bee-people and be kind to them. They’re too busy to know what they’re doing.

streetsPeople hurry. Don’t believe it? Look around. Millions of cars are visible at night like red and white corpuscles in city-bodies. Nature, as in “the wild” is designated, sectioned off, preserved. Animals are moored in small island parks, but it is pointless to complain. It is a human race we live, but you can enjoy the wild even when it’s tame because wherever you go, there you are (see: Where Are You?).

A-Watched-Pot-Never-Boils

Some people seek thrills. That’s enjoyment to them. Waiting in line is torture, but if impatience is quiet, time slows down. If a watched kettle takes forever to boil, why not watch kettles? Live longer. Enjoy time not doing.

The counter argument is, “If I’m not busy, I’m bored. I may as well be dead!” This may be true, but if it isn’t, it could be that you’re not doing ‘not doing’ quite right.

hallwayTo not do isn’t a lull between doings. You can be not doing and look busy. To not be busy is to take the time to watch something far away. It is to linger on a sensory memory (see Keep it Simple). It is to shift focus to the periphery as you walk down a long hallway without swinging your arms and feel amused in so doing. Enjoy yourself as yourself where you are. Why not? Is the alternative any better? What have you got to lose?

To not be busy is to take your time. You are here to be here. This isn’t serious. Enjoy a rock and roll groove as you watch trees shake and shimmy to distant thunder.

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Published by

Darrel

A Philosopher of Enjoyment.

4 thoughts on “Busy Bees and Peripheral Visions”

  1. So this morning I sat on my deck having my morning coffee, skimming through work email, reading a blog post or two – in general doing. That was the superficial stuff that was happening while I enjoyed the breeze, sun, clouds, birds, cats, squirrel’s, the sounds of kids in the neighbourhood – in fact being. I don’t think the doing impacted the being but in this case they cohabitated quite well. I didn’t have an agenda or schedule so instead of being distracted by the fluttering of a pigeons wings my attention drifted to it for a few minutes mixed up with day dreams, I enjoyed a sip of coffee and let one experience after another come and go. I was able to stay like this for a good hour by not trying to hold onto it and lost it by becoming aware of it. But it is still there just below the surface.

    I was reading about microphones yesterday and the misconception people have that they reach out to capture sound at its source but in truth they capture the sound that comes to them. I think this is an analogy for happiness, it isn’t external or a goal to try and reach. It is always right here ready to smak us in the gob.

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    1. So awesome. Your words are inspiring. You’ve got it down! I love the microphone analogy and how you say happiness isn’t external or a goal to try to reach. It may not be the goal, but you set the stage by being with the breeze, sun, clouds, birds, kids in the distance. It’s so simple. You took time to enjoy and happiness entered like you had opened a window and said, “come on in and set a spell.”

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    1. Bruce is brilliant. I see the circles in the stream in the picture and I’m reminded of the optical illusion it is. It looks like the water is moving outward but the water is actually moving up and down. I equate that with how we can get fooled into what we think matters most. I get fooled by myself into thinking I know what I should be doing. It’s like Bruce sings, I need to grow up. Free to be. Very nice. Thanks for the song!

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