Doing Nothing

photo by sara b. healy

Why do some days flow like fast running rivers, while others creep along like brackish ponds? You stare at the computer willing the words to type themselves, but the page stares back at you, maybe even sticks its paper-tongue out at you.

That’s how it was for me today. I began the morning by staring at the empty white page on my computer. No words wanted to play with me. I finally pulled out my “works in progress,” but even they looked boring.

The truth was I wanted to do nothing, but since I did nothing yesterday. I felt guilty about doing TWO days of nothing in a row! That seemed so lazy and I’m not usually a lazy person.

Also, today is Monday. Work MUST be done; it’s the first day of the week. Still, no words formed themselves into creative and exciting sentences. The cupboard seemed empty.

I got another cup of coffee, thinking maybe that would help, but no, the blank paper was still waiting for me when I came back.

I did a 360 in my office chair, which made me realize my plants needed watering. After this was done, I sat back down, but still faced the same empty page glaring at me.

In addition, after weeks of cloudy chilly weather, it was an absolutely beautiful day where I’m at. The sun was out, the birds were singing and, boy oh boy, I wanted to be sitting on my porch, like Aggie.

She was lying in her cat “tree,” looking totally relaxed. The sun was warming her fur, like I wanted it to warm my face. I found myself wishing for the zillionth time I was a cat and had nothing to do, but sit.

With a heavy sigh, I turned back to the computer. My stomach churned. I begged my fingers to find something…anything, but nothing at all was there. I reminded my computer that people counted on me. I couldn’t let them down. It just hummed back at me.

In frustration, I turned to my bookshelf for inspiration. Surely, there was something to get me moving. I thumbed through books, but still nothing! I was getting desperate.

Then, buried under a stack of books I’ve been meaning to shelve, I found a book of meditation quotes. Why not give it a try? I opened the book and picked a page at random.

I closed my eyes and ran my finger down the page, letting it find a place to stop. When I opened my eyes and read the quote, I laughed out loud.

“Don’t just do something – sit there!”  ~ Author Unknown

The Universe played a joke on me. It was a kindly one; a little poke in the ribs, reminding me sometimes it’s important to take a break and meditate on a beautiful day.

I ended up doing just that. I went to my porch and sat until the sun dropped off to sleep. It didn’t bring me great wisdom, but it did help me find something to write:~)

What about you?

I recognize some people work full time or have other responsibilities keeping them busy during the day. So, finding time to sit on a porch in the sun may not be so easy.

Still, I think the intent of this quote is important. It’s a message about how we choose to live our lives. Think about it as you consider answering one or more of these questions:

  1. What’s this quote mean to you?
  2. How long can you be totally “unplugged,” meaning no cell phone, computer, T.V., etc. — just you and the quiet?
  3. When’s the last time, other than holidays and weekends, you took a full day off of work, whatever your work might be?