Finding the funny in parenthood before somebody loses an eye...

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Fine Are of Doing Nothing

Right now, I’m doing nothing.

I mean, I’m writing this article, of course, but other than that, I’m doing absolutely nothing.  And so are my kids.

We’re off from school all week and we aren’t doing anything at all.  It’s lovely.

This surprises a lot of people.  “You’re off for a whole week?  Are you going anywhere?”


“Do you have any plans?”


“So, what are you going to do all week?”


“No, really.  What are doing?...”

It can be so hard for some people to grasp.

But the truth is, doing nothing can be so much better than doing something.  When you do nothing, you can go out to dinners and late movies with the kids without worrying about having to get up early the next day; When you do nothing, you can sleep in; When you do nothing, you can make crepes, build Lego towns and go for walks around the park.  You can make fabulous meals together, play board games and maybe…if you feel like you absolutely have to do something…you can tackle a few of the 80 million tasks around the house you never get around to because you’re too busy working, running carpools, and volunteering at school. 

As far as I’m concerned, “nothing’s” got it all over “something.”

Everyone always thinks they have to do something.  Sure a trip to Hawaii, a visit with family, or skiing in the mountains is great.  And when else can you do these things other than over school vacation.  Our cruise to Mexico last year sure was “something.”  But I don’t think I want to do something all of the time.  Not when there’s so much fun to be had doing nothing.

But we all know that when you get home from these “vacations” you wish you had another vacation just to recover.  Sightseeing, socializing, traveling – all of these things are exhausting.  I need a nap just thinking about it.

I’ll admit, I’m a little lazy.

I love a good nap, I love TV, and I love hanging out at home.

Why not give yourself and your family the ultimate vacation…a vacation from doing anything at all.

And here’s the great part.  It’s free!

On vacation days when we do nothing, we all sleep late.  We wear pajamas till noon (at least) and we make huge breakfasts.

We come and go as we please.  We enjoy not having to be anywhere or do anything.  We make spontaneous playdates and invite friends over to hang out and do nothing with us.  And I have to say, they all love it.

Why does everyone think you need to do something to be doing anything.  Nothing can be so relaxing.  It’s such a lovely break from doing “something” all of the time.

My favorite vacations are doing nothing.

Sure my kids protest when they hear we’re doing “nothing” over vacation:

“But Mom!  Sloane went to Las Vegas!”

“That’s nice.”

“Heather is going to San Francisco!”


“Coco is off to the bahamas!”

“Sounds like fun.”

But why aren’t we doing anything?

Because we’re going to be too busy doing Nothing.

“What????!!!”  Of course, this always horrifies them.  Like I’ve condemned them to a week in hell, But the truth is, they love it too.  They love not having to be anywhere, or achieve anything.  Not having to learn anything.  But I wonder, are they learning something after all?

Maybe in showing them how to do nothing, I’m teaching them the most valuable something of all.

They play Chinese jump rope, basketball in the driveway, ride bikes on the street, we go the library, we make stacks and stacks of pancakes, figure out our latest Wii games and make “crazy” muffins where I let the kids add whatever they want to a bowl, we add flour and baking powder, bake it and see what happens.

Right now they’re curled up on the sofa watching a movie.  They’re covered in blankets, .

I had a friend once question my philosophy on Staycations.  “But your daughter has such a wanderlust!  How can you keep her home?” 

Funny, they don’t look like they’re suffering.

Ideas for doing nothing:

Crazy muffins

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