My husband, ever the appropriately-timed Librarian, forwarded me an article entitled “What some people call idleness is often the best investment” last month that I have just gotten around to reading. Written by Ed Smith it discusses how regular idleness, or stillness, is essential to being extremely productive during times when intense energy is needed. The article rang true for me on so many levels. Although I hadn’t realized it, I learned the value of being idle during medical school. Marathon study sessions require intense breaks; my best breaks involved good food, good time with friends, and lots of exercise and rest.
Now as an Intern, I have to fight the urge to be busy all day long. I have been doing my best to take time during the day to breathe, get a snack, check in with our Nanny, and be idle even if it is for only 5 or 10 minutes. I cannot count the number of days hunger has assaulted me reminding me I haven’t eaten in hours or my aching breasts let me know I have gone too long without pumping.
Pumping has provided a wonderful opportunity to be somewhat idle. While my pump whirs and pulsates, I look at videos and pictures of Zo on my phone. I am a little sad that my built in “breaks” will be coming to an end in a month or so when I stop pumping. Zo turns 1 in in less than a month and my sore nipples are very tired of the 4 times a day pumping sessions. I will do my best to incorporate small “idle” periods in the workday even once pumping is over because I wholeheartedly believe that trying to be busy all day results in inefficiency and burn out. Once home, I will continue to “cut work off” unless absolutely necessary and roll around on the floor with Zo, take our daily baths, and teach him the power of being idle.