#3 – Nothing = Something

As suggested by fellow bloggers SuziCate, Ron and Penny, over the past 120 hours (that’s five consecutive days, round-the-clock), I’ve simply gone with the flow and let life happen.  Except for a scheduled Memorial Day cookout at my house with the in-laws, I made no plans…and just did things as they presented themselves. 

I felt as free as a bird…

IMG_4295Dove.  Not the soap.  Not the ice cream bar.

…and it was glorious! 

I took a 24-mile bike ride, finished a book, hung out with neighbors and friends, went out for ice cream, bathed my cat (she didn’t like it)….and  just a whole bunch of nothing that added up to something big…called me time.

If you haven’t had some you time in a while…or if you are so stressed that it’s almost straight jacket and rubber room time….

Mental Health Sign

…take it as a sign to look at your calendar, block out a few hours, an entire day, or a few days as time for Nothing = Something.

I used to think that doing nothing was simply a waste of time.  I would sit in a state of physical idleness while thinking about the 1,00o other things I could or should be doing instead.  This mental battle between what I was doing (nothing) and what I should be doing (something) was very unsettling.

Then, along came my vow to beat the Feeling of UN.  After five days of me time, I am now a believer in the mental health value of taking time for nothing.

When I look at my calendar, my schedule usually looks packed.  Work, family obligations, housework, lavish parties (okay, I’m dreaming about the parties).  We all wish there was more time in our lives to relax and do nothing.  But, when we get a moment to do absolutely nothing, our minds are on other things or we distract ourselves by watching TV, checking our e-mail, browsing the internet, or doing chores.  We don’t enjoy time spent in nothingness.

Instead of writing a few more paragraphs and compelling you to read them, do this….

Close your eyes for what feels like a full minute…and do nothing.

Did it feel like you wasted your time?

22 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by pattisj on June 1, 2011 at 1:39 am

    I need to do that more often, but at 1:30 a.m., I was afraid I’d fall asleep before finishing my blog post for tomorrow! Five days of “me time,” I can’t imagine how wonderful that would be.


  2. Is the mental health center the tree? Sidhartha’s tree?


  3. Posted by suzicate on June 1, 2011 at 8:37 am

    Yay, Tracy! Sometimes “me time” is just what is needed…we tend to forget it. So glad you had a wonderful weekend mostly about you! I know after a 24 mile bike ride, I am done for a while! Hope it didn’t do you in as it does me!


  4. Heh, I have to schedule “me time;” does that kind of defeat the purpose? 🙂 I don’t know how well I’d be able to handle a few days of free time; I start to get antsy. But when I have a full morning to myself before going into work for a later shift….ahhhh, glorious! I get some reading done, some writing, some cleaning, and plenty of mindless television for background noise. Nicer days get a walk in the park…

    This post is just making me look forward to the fact that I only work a little bit today, and, after that and some grocery shopping, it’s more me time! Whoo hoo!


  5. Yahoooooooooooooooooo!

    So glad to hear you enjoyed your Nothing = Something time, Tracy!

    Isn’t it something how doing nothing, opens yourself to a wealth of creative energy? Sometimes I find that if I spend my time always doing something, then creativity can’t find it’s way into my busy consciousness. I no longer wear a watch because I can be way to obsessed with time. And amazingly enough, even though I no longer wear a time piece, I’m never late. I can always ‘feel’ what time it is without looking.

    “Dove. Not the soap. Not the ice cream bar.”

    Bwahahahahahahahahhaha! LOVED that!



    • ..thanks for the go with the flow suggestion, Ron! It was a super good one, and much needed. No watch? Can you tell the time by the angle of the sun or the length of your shadow?


  6. Great Un cure. I enjoyed the minute, too. I’ve been feeling lately that I needed to retreat from all things that have been draining my energy. I’ve taken a few days refusing to be pushed into my normal routine. Amazing. It wasn’t fatal to anyone and everything waited as though it were meant to be. Blessings to you, Tracy…


  7. Me time is so vital. Especially if you’re writing a book! Time to relax and think primes the creative pump.


  8. I have an 11-day vacation planned for later this summer and I told my co-workers I’ll be leaving my Blackberry at home and NOT checking work e-mails while I’m gone. They seemed bothered by this and puzzled…but I really do feel for our own mental health we need to just set all of that crap aside for a while and go do something different. Something for US.


  9. My mother always told me to block out time in my diary for ME. I don’t always manage but at my vast age, I am eventually learning to do so.
    Thanks for sharing. 🙂


  10. We always seem to think that we have to be doing something important in order for t to count. Sometimes just “being” is exactly what we need. 🙂 We all need “me time.”


  11. OH YEAH! Nothing definitely challenges me. I’m usually too busy and often wonder why I can’t sit still. What is it that makes me feel so uncomfortable or guilty? I did hear someone say once: people don’t want to be still/quiet because they don’t want to hear what they’re thinking… Sometimes I stop to think about that a little… There are times when even doing one thing doesn’t feel enough. I find myself more and more doing several things all at once. Maybe I’m chasing a sense of achievement or satisfaction somehow… Your post is good food for thought 🙂


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