‘A large part of the peace I feel now is that I have learnt how to do nothing.’

Wishing well: There’s more than one way to be bored, reflects Thomas Kam Meadley

‘I spent a month trying to distract myself from the fact of my impending death.’ | Photo: Taylor Simpson / Unsplash.

Three years ago, aged twenty-one, I was diagnosed with leukaemia. I spent most of the next nine months in isolation, in a sealed, airtight room.

That time was incredibly hard, but it was also the most important and transformational of my life. Two years since I came out of isolation, almost to the day, I am back in a similar situation. As one friend put it: ‘There couldn’t be a more triggering set of circumstances!’ Yet now, away from the stress and struggle of being a young artist in the city, I am enjoying being back in the countryside, walking in the garden, and eating with my family. In fact, I feel a deeper peace now, perhaps more than I’ve ever felt.

I think a large part of this is that I have learnt how to do nothing – how to be bored.

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