The Lost Art of Lingering

There is something in the Jewish Sabbath that is absent from most Christian Sundays: a true cessation from the rhythms of work and world, a time wholly set apart, and perhaps above all a sense that the point of it, the orientation of it, is toward God.
— Lauren Winner

As a book writer (and coach to dozens of other book writers), I'm always paying attention to book titles. In addition to loving books themselves, I love the creativity around the choice of naming books. The sign of a great one is when the title alone hooks your attention and sticks with you. It either inspires and elevates...or makes you laugh...or makes you mad. Just the name itself!
Occasionally I get all I need from the title and never read the actual book (I'm sure the author appreciates this). This was the case a week ago when I came across a new book entitled The Lost Art of Lingering. Wow. Wouldn't perhaps inspire everyone--but it sure inspires me. Maybe that's because I'm on vacation. (I know, I know...why would someone write a newsletter on vacation? But hey, when the idea strikes, you have to capture it in the moment!)
I was wondering this morning, Just what is it that makes a vacation? Is it the absence of work? (Apparently not.) Is it time to relax? Is it the freedom to actively engage fun activities? Is it travel? I suppose that vacation can be any and all of these things...and my current vacation has touched on each. But at the root of vacation for Jerome Daley is the freedom to linger. (Like we are here, camping at the New River Trail...minus Ashley who was taking the photo!)
To linger over the morning cup of coffee. To linger over a book. To linger at meals. To linger at exercise. Or to watch three episodes of Longmire in a row!
There is something powerful--at least in our American culture--about being ever-so-briefly unchained from tyranny to the clock. In fact, I revel in going from sunrise to pillow without ever once having to actually look at a clock or watch. I know everyone is different, so maybe it's just me...but for me, the essence of vacation is lingering.
What if...
So what if we could import a bit of lingering into our non-vacation lives? What might that mean for the quality of life we experience, day in, day out? What could this look like in your life?
It's a powerful question. I invite you to linger over the answer...and change one thing. Something.

Posted on October 29, 2013 .