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Saturday, March 25, 2017

Nothing is Ok

Posted by Tim Stobbs on September 10, 2015

So I’ve been sick the last few days around the house and I realized something important.  Being sick is one of the few times I give myself permission to do nothing in a day.  No objects, no goals, and nothing that feels much like work at all.  I think yesterday my accomplishment was dealing with an email problem that have caused me grief over the years but only in a minor way until I made an effort to deal with it.  I stumbled into a solution to the issue so I took advantage of my extra time and dealt with it.

Yet isn’t it sad that I have to be sick to give myself permission to do nothing in a day.  What is wrong with the world that we have all seemed to have this twisted ideal that you need to accomplish something in a day…honestly, isn’t binge watching a show on Netflix enough or reading most of a book?  Why can we not just have no objectives?  Are we less of a person for doing nothing?

Or perhaps our ideals of getting things done on our checklists make us forget a few important facts.  Like for example, why isn’t spending an hour talking with my wife a good objective for a day?  It builds our relationship, helps us learn new things and forces us to consider things outside our normal state of thinking.  Or reading a good story doesn’t have to be an educational event, but often I’ve learned all sorts of tidbits while reading novels that have actually been practical in real life…like never go to bed angry at our spouse.

Then of course a day of nothing really isn’t ever nothing.  I always seem to get something done regardless of my intentions not to.  So why should I even worry about it at all?  Something will get done, just usually not something I expected, but often that is just fine.  After all making a cake is something or some muffins, having a nap is restful or writing a post for this blog.

So with that in mind I’m going to try to a few more nothing days in my future.  I sort of enjoy them after I got over my needless guilt of ignoring my to do list for a day.

Do you ever do nothing days?  Do you feel guilty as well?

Comments

5 Responses to “Nothing is Ok”
  1. diharv says:

    I can do nothing for days on end without feeling bored better than anyone else I know so I think I will well prepared for ER . However I do get the pangs of guilt so I try not to do this very much. Having a young family and a house and yard with a seemingly endless to do list keeps things in balance which I think is the key. So yeah , take at least a day off per week and do nothing and recharge. This is what the good Lord intended anyway right ? So feel no guilt for at least one day .

  2. Jim Stokes says:

    I find that it’s impossible to do nothing. My mind is always busy – thinking, reflecting, dreaming.

    Many people seem preoccupied with keeping themselves looking busy, always having knitting, crosswords, books, a sort pile, or whatever, at hand to grab if there’s ever a lull in their busy-ness. I think that, often, it’s because they don’t want to be seen not doing something – shiftless. “What would others think?” is often the driving motivation. The need to strive and keep up with, or surpass, the ‘Jones’ has been hammered into us by the media, and by our peers and others who have fallen for the same underlying message.

    The idea of sitting watching a sunset or the slow undulating movement of the water in a lake or river is very appealing, very meditative, and I believe is very good for us. To others, it would appear that you’re doing nothing. To yourself, it would feel like you’re enjoying your life in the moment.

    Thanks for stimulating more thoughts and dreams.

    Jim Stokes, Guelph, Ontario, Canada.

  3. Master Nerd says:

    Nothing time is great! I find it a good way to decompress and let my mind just wander during that time. Even just setting aside an hour a day or half a day every week can be quite liberating.

    The only time I feel guilty is if I have a bunch of “important” things to do, although those times are when an hour of nothing can be the most helpful.

  4. deegee says:

    I don’t know about the “do nothing” days but since I ERed 7 years ago I have plenty of “do very little” days. If I have no errands and no outside activities I might not leave my apartment until after dinner to get the mail (or wait until the next day).

  5. robert says:

    What happens if they pick up on your lower engagement level and decide to end the employment relationship earlier than you planned? Have you considered this?

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