It’s ok to do nothing. I’ve given myself permission to do nothing this weekend. The weather has had an influence too. It’s been too hard for me to do anything over this hot weekend. (And I’ve felt a little guilty doing nothing while Adam has been outside working hard the whole weekend.) I had intentions to do things – really, I did.
I’d planned to write – to finish all the drafts I have. I’d planned to source a frame for our wedding, so I could paint it and insert table places in the windows. I’d planned to tackle the mountainous bedrobe in the spare room. I’d planned to go to a store and buy a gift voucher – but instead I thanked the retail gods for allowing me to purchase it online. Instead, I organised the saucepan cupboard – retiring my old ones and washing my new fancy ones, did lots of washing and danced around the house in my swimmers, singing loudly to Taylor Swift.
I watched some Netflix too – indulging in some rubbish (Rock This Boat – a hilarious reality TV series about a New Kids on the Block boat cruise and their 3000 screaming 30 something fans), and some healthier stuff (Master of None – an insight into the lives of contemporary 30 somethings – so clever.) I sprawled out under the air conditioner – bliss.
I don’t do nothing well. I have to be doing something! My version of doing nothing is often lying in bed bashing out pieces of writing, or listening to podcasts when I really should be asleep. Even in hospital I feel like I should be using the time to read a book or a magazine.
Adam and I played a mind game at the science museum last year – it showed how much we use our minds. The ball would move when we relaxed our minds, and stay still when our minds were busy. Adam found it easy to move the ball. I couldn’t make the ball move as I was thinking of dinner, writing, the heat, my body, work…. I can’t switch off.
This year has been a busy one. Exhausting even. I’ve taken two weeks of recreation leave, a few sick day, no break between my old job and new one and my travel to Sydney and the Gold Coast have been for speaking and blogging engagements – while feeling like I was on holiday, I was still “on”. I think planning the Australian Ichthyosis meet and then running the guest posts for Ichthyosis Awareness Month in May left me feeling spent. I have those projects my all, and while the outcome was so wonderful, I might have suffered planning withdrawals and also sheer exhaustion. And wedding planning has been busier than expected – I’m relieved I am not going overboard with the details. And there’s been the normal routine, too. Seeing friends, meeting deadlines, visiting shopping centres, paying bills, cooking meals. Rinse and repeat.
I just needed to stop.
The busy epidemic is real. Colour Me Anna says
“There are two types of busy in my book. The busyness of life that is very real…school routines, after school activities, social lives, exercise and generally exhausting household chores. Then there is the busyness inside your head. This to me is the greatest concern. If you can’t empty your head of the busy then you will never unbusy yourself. Unbusy is totally a word, okay?”
She’s right. It’s been nice to unbusy myself – my head – by taking time to do nothing. I go on leave soon – and I hope to be relaxed going into the break, rather than taking the whole break to unwind.
It’s ok to do nothing sometimes. Our bodies and minds are better for it.
How about you? Are you in a constant state of busy? How do you slow down?