Sunday, June 26, 2016

The Joy of Doing Almost Nothing

It might be decadent to admit, but I spent an entire day doing almost nothing. Following two weeks of family interaction, travel, sun fun, a bit of intellectual brain activity, my six decades plus body alerted me – ENOUGH!

Kids and a mud pit - an irresistible combination 
 Arriving home from a Road Scholar Intergenerational program with our grandson, the three of us – me, hub, and Hayden - fell onto comfy chairs and couches, barely moving. The twelve-year-old retained enough energy to adeptly maneuver fingers on his electronic device. Hub managed to turn the TV on and channel surf. I started the first of copious loads of laundry. Hayden’s filthy, mud-spattered, smelly clothes, the product of days trekking through the salt marsh, wetlands, and the beach, required a thorough cleaning. Hub and my clothes were almost as dirty.

Foul-smelling laundry bags...
Slowly shuffling to the laundry room, transferring clothes from foul-smelling laundry bags to the washer, then the dryer, out of the dryer, and repeat, the activity sucked whatever energy remained in my body. Following three loads I gave up and sank into bed.

The following day became my day of doing almost nothing. More laundry, catching up on the news and emails, preparing and eating simple meals – only two, a late breakfast of bagels, and dinner - grilled chicken and our first delicious seasonal asparagus.

I felt drained. My body craved idleness and sleep. It was as if all the energy this sixty-something body could muster was used up over the past couple of weeks.

It was time to recharge.

I know I am lucky to be able to do nothing for a day. No pressure to return to an office or anywhere else at a specific time. Whatever must be done could wait a day.

Giving in to the exhaustion proved a worthwhile endeavor. I woke up the following morning wide-awake and eager to start the day.

Hungry, I looked forward to cooking breakfast.

We met friends for lunch, riding bikes the two miles to the restaurant and a few more miles after lunch, tired when returning home but energized.

I spent an hour and a half in the garden, catching up following two weeks of benign neglect.

Now I am ready for a busy week beginning with a 7:00 a.m. zumba class tomorrow morning.

And I do not feel any guilt for taking a day off, doing almost nothing, enjoying every minute of it.

The joy of doing almost nothing. I will have to do it again some time… 

12 comments:

  1. I have to confess, there are times I can't wait to have the house to myself so I can do absolutely nothing. When the family is together and there's nothing but hustle and bustle, I love that, too. Guess we all need some balance in order to keep on going.

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    1. That is the key, I believe - balance. And the older we get, the more downtime is needed.

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  2. A post after my own heart. I did an unfamiliar and very uncharacteristic amount of housecleaning on Friday and was definitely dragging tail on Saturday. Could be my age, or maybe it proves the foolhardiness of housecleaning.

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    1. I vote for the second reason. Housecleaning was never a favorite activity, one always put off as long as possible.

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  3. I find my body will force me into do nothing mode when it needs to.

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    1. And it is important to listen to our body, or we will regret it....

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  4. I did a lot of nothing last week, and I didn't have your excuse. I felt good, but what I wanted to do was nap. So I did. Grateful to be retired so that can happen!

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    1. Isn't it funny kids hate naps, and us older folks adore them!

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  5. Nobody could ever accuse you of doing nothing.

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    1. Doing nothing is this senior citizen's idea of a perfect day!

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  6. A little recharge now and then is exactly what we need.

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