The Importance of Doing Nothing

by Heligirl on September 4, 2012

in Beyond Mommyhood

I’ve been remiss in blogging lately due to being way too bogged down with life to have time to write.

I’ve so much to tell you, like how I picked up knitting and have made some really awesome things and wonderful new friends.

Or how we went to Yellowstone and how sweetness picked up photography like she’d been doing it her whole life, but we all got home more tired that when we left.

Or how I go the backyard landscaped and the idiot who did it made about 4 billion mistakes and it’s going to cost me more to fix his mess.

Then there is the tale of how the reason I got the yard landscaped (to keep out the raccoons) is nothing but a laugh because this year’s crop of raccoons are back, pooping in my new landscaping after they dig it up each night while laughing at the baited raccoon traps that have been sitting there for more than a week.

Yes, lots to tell, and perhaps I will, but in the meantime, I’m doing nothing.

You see, the flipping LG refrigerator I hate with a passion croaked on Monday. Again. This was the last straw. It was time to replace it, which hurt like hell given we paid $2,500 for the damn thing only six years ago. But we were done with it breaking. However, this electronic nemesis of mine did me one favor. It died just before Labor Day, when everyone and their mothers have huge appliance sales.

Now, Hubby and I were planning on going to Oregon to see my in-laws over the long weekend, leaving Friday. But as it turns out, the stress of trying to find a fridge that wasn’t very expensive, wasn’t an LG and had good ratings was getting to me. We needed more time, but the hauling out to the garage to use the old beer fridge as a main fridge was getting on us.

Then Hubby uttered these words: “Why don’t you stay home and deal with the fridge and I’ll take the kids to Oregon.”

As it turns out, we found the best fridge we could find for our budget Thursday night. They’d be delivering it Saturday. Hubby left Friday afternoon and by 3 p.m. I was done with work.

Then it was just me and the dogs. Well, the cats were there too, but we don’t count them because they just sit outside and watch the raccoons dig and poo. Oh, except Hubby’s cat, who came in and peed on my beach bag and hubby’s computer. There will be no long-term medical intervention if that cat gets ill, just so you know.

The truth is, I’d been wanting to have a few days just to myself for a while. I’d been dreaming about it, all I’d get done. Now, all of the sudden, with a day’s notice, here it is. Two and a half days all to myself. (Sound of angels singing “ahhhhhhhhh” as light pours in.)

Then the guilt set in. When I was a young girl, ridicule and criticism were all that awaited me if I did nothing while my mother was at work. A laundry list of all I could have done was thrown at me and interlaced with words like “slovenly,” “lazy,” “ungrateful,” etc. So immediately my deep-rooted guilt of being all those things kicked in. My mind raced as it began this list of things I should do. Hubby gave me a weekend off. I should have lots done for him when he returns – laundry, house cleaned, yard weeded, files organized, grocery shopping, all food moved into new fridge when it arrives, wash dogs, finish memorial to my sweet Jacky (just waiting on me to go through all my pictures and find the best one), etc. and so on. I came up with a week’s worth of things to do in two days.

Then I slapped myself.

I wasn’t going to be rested when they got back if I did all that. And Hubby has NEVER made it known he demands these things from me. The only thing I had to do was be here when the fridge guys arrived, then move the food into the new fridge. Might be nice to clean up the kitchen after too. That’s it. Period.

So I forced myself to do just that and little more. To keep the guilt about the house at bay, I gave myself an hour Saturday, no more, to clean. It took all of 15 minutes to clean the two bathrooms (minus bathtubs), another 30 to pick up, vacuum and dust the living room and dining room, and all of 10 minutes to wash the kitchen floor while my lunch heated up. There, neurotic cleaning need met. Later that day, after the new fridge arrived, I got it all squared away, straightened up the kitchen, and got the grocery shopping done, rewarding myself with the season’s first Pumpkin Spice Latte from the grocery store’s Starbucks.

It was a lot of work to ignore all that “you should be”¦” noise in my head. I should be out enjoying the nice day, I should go for a bike ride, I should be weeding the yard, I should be going through all my photos, I should be writing a month of blog posts, I should be really scrubbing the house, blah, blah, blah.

Instead I asked “What do I want to do?”

I wanted to sit on the couch and veg. How about watch all the Harry Potter movies, interrupted except to pee? Read two novels? Knit until I didn’t want to anymore?

I settled on the Harry Potter movies, watching one after the other, getting up to eat, pee and let the dogs out or in. I knitted during some of it, just watched during the rest. I did a little chore between movies to get the blood going. Then went to bed and read until I fell asleep snuggling with my puppies (who don’t get to sleep with me when Hubby is home).

So I didn’t do all that I could have accomplished but in the end, I feel rested, relaxed, at peace and ready to take on football season where hubby is gone a lot, then the holidays. I really, really needed this and I love my hubby so much for letting me have it.

And, in doing this, I’m also learning to love me, blocking out that nasty voice my mother imbedded, and realizing the most loving thing I can do for me is let me do what I want.

I guess I did accomplish a lot after all.

{ 1 comment }

Susan September 5, 2012 at 2:07 pm

Yesssssssssssssssssssss!!! Awesome! I can relate. If I have free time, there is always a nagging voice in the back of my head telling me to clean up the house, do yard work, do this, do that, yada, yada, yada. Then I get so overwhelmed that I shut down and do nothing but take a nap. Then, nothing gets done and I feel guilty about it. Well, got a haircut and food shopping done. Laundry is going. And I really need a nap. Time to close my eyes for a little while before I put in more laundry and then await the return of Little Man from day 2 of school.

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