Scheduling Nothingness

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Oh, this sickness- it’s lasting a lifetime. I watch my kids suffer through it with relative optimism, however. We hunker down today, cancel all FOUR of the things that were supposed to happen, and get some “rest.”

Here are the things we cancelled:

1. haircuts for the kids by my wonderful friend from high school: drinking coffee and catching up, and receiving a hand-me-down electric guitar with amplifier.

2. meeting new friends at the park

3. playing Magic at S.W. Randall

4. meeting to discuss and work on a new children’s curriculum at church

Here is what has happened spontaneously so far on our Wellness Day:

1. Me doing laundry

2. Boy picking up Geometry workbook and completing a chapter

3. Children listening to/practicing choir songs for memorization

4. Children cooperatively working on a 100 piece arctic puzzle

5. All of us harvesting and drying the herbs and marigolds from the garden.

6. Learning what to do with marigold flowers (7 things!)

7. Learning how to harvest Marigold seeds from the flower

8. Baking gluten-free bread

9. Girl squeezing watermelon juice into a shot glass and adding lemon, drinking it down happily

10. Yoga

11. Blog entry

12. Making models of atoms with marshmallows

All of these things will have happened before lunch. We woke up at 8. It’s kind of amazing that on “do nothing” days, we actually get FAR more accomplished than we might have on the days where we are trying to accomplish so much.

Well days like this used to be on our calendar, scheduled weeks in advance, no sickness required. The day would have scrawled across half of it’s page: “Do Nothing.” Yet another idea inspired by The Artist’s Way.

Time and time again I find that when we leave empty space for the air to fill our lungs, empty space for time to invade our minds and fingers, we are finally full. We can appreciate what we have, not worry about what we don’t have, and sit in radical contentedness. We find what is natural for us to do, work out our priorities, shake out our laundry lists, and putz around the house calmly doing what we love.

I find my husband to be amazing at this; he has taught me a great deal about Do Nothing Day. It used to really annoy me when I would see him perched in front of his computer screen, surfing the web or watching an episode of God-knows-what when there was work to do or kids to attend to; but now I can accept that his putzing around looks a lot different than mine, and that is okay. If he didn’t get it, he wouldn’t have energy for the amazing amount of giving he does each week. Maybe more importantly, I’ve come to accept that my putzing around often does mean doing the dishes by hand while daydreaming out the window, making beds, harvesting or weeding, folding laundry…stuff that looks an awful lot like…well, work. And that’s okay too. I can’t help it that I actually enjoy those solitary moments of quiet (everyone seems to leave me alone when I’m “working”); but if I start to feel resentful, it is time to leave the house and take a walk or grab a magazine and tea.

I am going to get back to putting the Do Nothing days on our calendar. They keep a girl honest about living and loving. Everyone needs a day to fill their cup.

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