“Bel Far Niente” – The Beauty of Doing Nothing

I’m currently in my third week of a very long, four-month summer vacation.

Now most people in my shoes probably have the whole summer planned out. They’ve already booked flights to exotic locations, or have already gotten a head start on tanning before it gets too hot, or have lined themselves up for jobs or summer internships to keep them preoccupied. I, on the other hand, have succeeded in doing absolutely nothing.

Now to some, this may seem like an ok way to spend one’s time, especially, if like me, they have so much of it. But being the overachiever that I am, the idea of me doing nothing for the next four months has become absolutely unfathomable to my family. Dina? Not get a job or cram her days with a million and one things to achieve? Unheard of!

Not this time folks.

Now don’t get me wrong! I don’t plan to be a complete hermit and succumb to anti-socialism and an overt love for my laptop and high speed Internet. Hell no! But for once, I don’t really want to achieve anything, except for my own personal pleasure and happiness that will make me long for each one of these 130 days of pure possibility.

I want to read all the books I never had time for, drown myself in movies and shows, stick to my promises of keeping in touch with the people I love, go out with the friends that I can only see over summer and just enjoy it!

God what have I been doing all these years?!

On the subject of reading, I finally picked up a copy of Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert and almost done with it (see! I haven’t been completely useless these past couple of weeks :P). On her visit to Italy, the author talks about the difference between Americans and Italians. She says Americans are constantly trying to succeed something or other. They have this need to feel like they’re fulfilling something and so they slave away in offices, deal with pressure, and then don’t know what to do when there’s nothing to achieve. Italians, on the other hand, specialize in one thing and one thing only: Bel far niente—“the beauty of doing nothing.” And even better then that: l’arte d’arrangiarsi—“the art of making something out of nothing.” Isn’t that brilliant?

Not that I’m American but all these years of submerging myself in an intense American school curriculum has taken its toll on me! I have to admit though that before starting this post, I was questioning whether or not I was being foolish to not want to achieve anything of worth to anyone else but myself.

But I guess I figured it out. I’m not being foolish. I’m just being Italian! Let the days of summer nothingness begin!

: : : Some kind of therapy is all I need, please believe me. Some instant remedy that can cure me completely. Could it be that I’m suffering because I’ll never give in? : : :

— Trouble Sleeping, Corinne Bailey Rae —

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1 Comment

Filed under Summer Daze

One response to ““Bel Far Niente” – The Beauty of Doing Nothing

  1. Rabbia

    i want to be Italian too!!! I’m totally in constant need to feel like I’m doing something to keep me going and now i want to be Italian and make something beautiful out of nothing.

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