When nobody was around, I thought I would meditate twice a day for a total of at least 40 minutes. Instead I stared blankly out the window at oak leaves moving in the breeze.
When nobody was around, I thought I would revise my novel draft, making all the corrections my editor Joan had marked. Instead I never opened the document at all.
When nobody was around, I thought I would practice cartooning my characters Mark and Mira. Instead I sketched two acorn cups I found on my walk.
When nobody was around, I thought I would drink matcha tea and peel some tangerines. Instead I ate instant oatmeal and chocolate almonds—lots of them.
When nobody was around, I went on silent retreat in the mountains to be productive. Instead I rested, stared, enjoyed, and procrastinated.
Maybe retreats are not for doing but for being. Not for reaching goals but for setting them aside. Not for striving but for letting go.
Next time I go on retreat I will change my expectations. I will expect nothing to be accomplished. I will sit, stare, and be. What’s wrong with that?