Why Is It So Hard To Do Nothing?

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I had a plan for today, and it was so simple. I’d even call it elegant in its pure modesty. That being said, it wasn’t something I entered into casually or without a great deal of thought and internal debate. I struggled, wrestled with the idea until its necessity became too compelling to ignore. It had to be done. There was no way around it so, I gone done and did it.

Well, I tried anyway.

I will say that this plan was crafted with serious consideration, and I weighed the cost/benefits quite carefully. It wasn’t a rash decision by any means, and I still stand by it. Even though it imploded soon after implementation? Well, uh, yeah, that’s a valid question. 

And that plan was? Look at that, another excellent question. You’re on fire! She said in a slightly patronizing tone. Oops, my mad. Sorry.

This plan involved doing absolutely f**k all for an entire day. A three day weekend! Well, not quite. I still have to finish this and put it up, but other than that… Long weekend! Whoop. Oh, I can’t contain the excitement, and that was indeed sarcasm.

So, why did I decide to take a day to do nothing at all?

Well, I haven’t been feeling all the good for a while. I’ve had a migraine for about a week, and my chest has been feeling a tad bit congested. Do I think I have that blasted virus again? No, I think I’ve been under an enormous about of stress for serval months, and my internal organs are voicing their displeasure. They’re doing it with the help of a marching band, a herd of stampeding rhinos, and a moose with a head cold.

What, you’ve never seen a moose with a head cold? Okay, I’ve never seen it either, but I’ve heard a moose yell, and it’s a noise. Loud, slightly obnoxious, and it sounds like a honker that’s been bunged up by an unfortunate cartoon character. In other words, it’s not very pleasant, which is how I feel right now.

I’ve tried to push through it, get things done despite myself, but all I’ve managed to do is prolong the discomfort. It turns out, and brace for the shock, our minds are connected to our bodies. When one goes off, the other soon follows. Mind, meet Body. The two of you will be working closely so, it’s best if you two get along.

Do they get along? No, they bicker like siblings and manage to get each other into trouble. If you don’t have a sibling, then this comparison might be a bit foreign. My brother and I got each other into so much trouble when we were kids. Well, he went along with one of my ridiculous ideas so he could keep me from injuring myself. How did I repay his heroism? As any good baby sister would. I put the blame on him whenever we were caught. 

What can I say? It’s a right of passage or something like that. Looking back, it wasn’t a cool move, but he was always there for me despite my troublesome antics, which I appreciate. Though I have to say, it’s a miracle we survived childhood. Honestly, how the hell did that happen with all the stunts we pulled?

My mind and my body are just as bad! They lead each other astray, and the mind-body connection has become bothersome, to say the least. 

Lately, my mind has been munching on the coo-coo puffs (That’s not what the cereal is called, I know, but I’m taking creative license and respecting copy-write laws. Don’t sue me). My body, it seems, doesn’t like the sugar rush. It’s shutting down. Going on strike, perhaps? Possibly because I don’t feel well.

My mind and body are throwing competing fits so, the wise and mature thing to do would be to take a day to rest, heal, and get myself right. It wouldn’t be unwarranted, and it would, I assume, be medically advisable. Don’t quote me on that. I’m not a doctor, but I did play one on a tv show once, but that’s a long and uninteresting story.

But now for a public service announcement! I’m isolating just in case I’ve picked up something unfortunate. I don’t think I have, but I won’t risk hubris kicking me swiftly in the posterior. That would be my luck, and I don’t want to press my luck onto someone else. If you’re feeling unwell, play it safe and stay home.

It’s a great excuse to do absolutely nothing for a few days. If your employer asks, you can tell them you’re taking the medical advice of a one-time tv doctor. You’re welcome.

My goal, plan, a notion of sorts was to take Friday off and follow my own fictitious medical advice. The most vigorous activity I had on the books? Turn on the tv, scroll through the apps until I found Youtube, and then turn on autoplay. After that? Nope, that’s it, I wasn’t going to do anything else unless it involved life-sustaining activities such as: food, potty breaks, and making a cuppa tea or three.

You know, the essentials.

Guess how long it lasted? Go on, give it a guess. Oh no, that’s way too generous! Thanks for overestimating my laziness and commitment to a day of rest. But no, no, I woke up at 8 AM because apparently, my mind thinks that constitutes sleeping in. I sat on my couch five minutes later, cuppa tea in hand, and by 9:30…Dramatic sigh… I got up, gave my dog a bath, did the dishes, and washed the floors.

And it gets worse! After some housework, I sat down to write this post about doing nothing because doing nothing was driving me up the wall. Which, now that I look at them more closely, yep, my walls need to be washed. Or, I could paint them a darker colour and hide the dirt.

Huh, would that work? How dark would I have to go? Would painting my walls be less work than cleaning them? No! Stop! You’re not supposed to be doing any work. For the love of all the congested moose’s (?) in this country, relax.

It should not be this hard to do nothing. It shouldn’t. That’s it. That’s the post. Now I can go back to doing nothing. Ha, no, I can’t do that because of reasons I can’t fathom at this second. Why can’t I do nothing for one 24 hour period? It’s ridiculous. It’s absurd. It’s…Damn it, where’s my thesaurus. I’m really starting to piss myself off! I should be able to relax, do nothing, and let myself heal, so I can do more tomorrow.

Wait, what? Do more tomorrow? This is getting out of hand. Why can’t I just relax? I need it. My mind and body need a break. I need the rest, but here I am writing these words and contemplating redecorating my apartment because I hate cleaning.

I’m not the only one who does this, right? You take a mental or physical health day because, well, life is hard, and you need one day to breathe. Instead of breathing, you forget that oxygen is a necessity, and without it, this single day, you’ll pass-out from hypoxia. How productive will you be when you’re unconscious? 

Huh, given the discourse between my mind and body? My body is petty enough to do things without conscious involvement. It’s done it before! My mind was deprived of adequate amounts of oxygen, in a real-life medical crisis, awhile back. I did and said things that I have no memory of saying or doing. My body carried on while my mind was completely shut down. It went on for five days, and I only know what happened because my family and medical team filled in the blanks.

If you’re curious, Google flash pulmonary edema but don’t click on the images if you’re squeamish. I think it’s kind of cool, but I am a bit of a weirdo.

Losing control of your body and having no memories is an unnerving experience, to say the least. I don’t recommend it, which is why I suggest taking a day off. And, yeah, I’m being a bit dramatic, and over the top or edge just a bit. But the point is made? We all need to take time to do nothing but breathe, rest, and realign our bodies and minds.

Or, is it a case of mind-body mind-business?

I can’t stop to catch my breath without worrying that I’m not doing enough. If I’m not doing enough then, how the hell will I move my life from this spot, which I don’t like all that much, to another place that will make me immeasurably happier. Move. Work. Grind. Come on, don’t stop now or else…What? 

What will happen if I stopped putting these words on this page? What will happen if I didn’t put this post up on Monday or any other day of the week? What will happen if I just stopped trying for one day, or maybe- let’s get wild- two days?

Other than feeling like a lazy ass loser who can’t stick with anything for more than a few months? But feelings aren’t facts, remember? If you’re tired of me saying that, then just imagine how exhausting it is for me. When will I learn? Never! Stop being so stubborn, damn it.

Taking a day off isn’t the worst thing I can do, and I’m fortunate enough to be able to do it. I can take a day, and my life won’t fall apart. Not everyone can say the same, which says a lot about our priorities as a society. It’s all about the hustle, and happiness is a commodity. If we don’t do one, we haven’t earned the other, and that’s just madness.

I’ve bought into this idea, clearly, because I can’t take a day to nothing without incredible guilt, self-loathing, and self-flagellation. I sat still for an hour, and that was all I could stand. Despite needing the rest, I got up and pushed myself just a little further. 

This is a problem! How much further can I go before my cracks become fractures? I don’t want to find out, but doing nothing is so hard.

How do I nothing without guilt or self-shaming? I don’t know, and I don’t have an answer. Obviously, I’m struggling with that right now. 

Here’s what I know but can’t seem to implement. Taking a mental or physical health day is vitally important to my overall wellbeing. If I’m looking at the long term benefits? Taking one day to rest will give me the energy to do what I need to do tomorrow. It will make me more productive, help me think clearer, and it’ll help me find some semblance of happiness and life satisfaction.

In the long term, but right now, it’s making me itchy. I just spent an inordinate amount of time putting words on a page, and my dog is still looking at me like I’m a monster. He does not like bath day, and I could’ve let it slide, but I had to do something. Now, I’m looking at my walls and wondering if I have enough soap to make them look white again. 

When it comes to doing nothing? I am a complete failure, and I still don’t know why doing nothing is so damn hard. Am I alone? Do you struggle with this too? Tell me, I’m not the only one who can’t do nothing.


2 thoughts on “Why Is It So Hard To Do Nothing?

Add yours

  1. I can relate. Even though I set aside a day of rest each week, it often ends up being my busiest day! I find myself needing to fill the minutes with productivity (and since you introduced me to homemade sourdough, I feel a need to bake something…) and then i resent others in my family who make “chillin’ like a villain” seem easy and truly devilish.


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