Friday, August 13, 2010

soul food friday ~ the art of doing nothing...

This came to me via an email...and it made me laugh...out work
...which is OK of course...we're allowed to laugh where I fact it's positively encouraged.
But then it got me thinking...why are we so afraid of having nothing to do? Why do we feel compelled to fill up our empty spaces? And when we do actually do nothing (is it even possible to really do nothing...), why do we feel guilty about it? Not all the time I least I hope...but even sometimes, feeling guilty about doing nothing is bad...isn't it?
Is thinking doing nothing? No, we're thinking.
Is gazing at our navel doing nothing? No, we're...well, we're navel gazing.
Is this a generational thing? The offspring don't seem to have a problem doing nothing!
I think having nothing to do is a luxury we should allow ourselves every now and again, don't you? And I know it's much easier for some than others. I don't have small people requiring my attention every hour of the day for instance. 
Ann from My Villa Life once described me as a doer, which kind of surprised me as I consider procrastination one of my finer skills! My friend Mary told me when she commented on last week's soul food friday post to do nothing last weekend (and I tried Mary, I really did).
So is 'nothing to do' not actually a luxury, but really a necessity? Every now and then. When we can manage it. To recharge and refresh. It's an interesting question isn't it?
What's your favourite 'case of nothing to do'? I'd like to borrow a few for the weekend if that's OK.
image via stumbleupon


  1. Kerry, I think there is nothing as great as filling moments of "no planned activity" with a great book. Getting totally engrossed in a novel makes time fly like nothing else.

  2. I'm with 63shells! Reading is exactly what I do when I want to do nothing at all (especially when avoiding the housework). Reading never counts as doing something as it is a necessity to get through the day (was never called homework in our house either)! Best yet is reading on the couch or outside in the sun and then waking up with the book still in your hands and glasses on the face! I think doing nothing at all involves ignoring your TO DO LIST (even when it enjoys projects you want to do) and just taking the day as it comes. Have a great weekend. PS: Love the cartoon!

  3. Hmmm, yes I often feel guilty if I sit and vegetate in front of a really bad tv show as living in this house there is always sooooo much to do, some bit that needs repairing or at the very least, the garden to weed. I must admit though, if I'm feeling lazy, I'll go out and garden as it makes me look like I'm busy but I actually find it relaxing. Don't tell Lyndon!
    Have a great weekend!

  4. You know, my favourite times are when there's absolutely nothing I 'have' to do (and these are rare days, let me tell you!) and the luxury for me lies in choosing how to spend the time. Of course, that's when the dilemma rears its ugly head - time to do whatever I like, but without wanting to 'waste' it, I tend to procrastinate the day away. I think we all spend so much time doing the things we 'have' to do,that when we have time to do whatever we like, we're terrified of wasting it. Although, I did spend a day a few weeks ago watching six episodes of 'True Blood' with my eldest daughter - full-on stuff, but seriously addictive with all the twists and turns! Wonderful, thought-provoking post sweet, and I hope your weekend is full of nothing planned! K xx

  5. yep, i dare you to do nothing!! i find it rridiculously hard to do too. But your doing stuff seems like fun!!

    I recommend pedicure followed by DVD purchases, eating watching sleeping. have a great weekend darl xxx

  6. Once again we are weirdly on the same page or at least a very similar one... I have just written about procrastination - I am a little overloaded and avoiding it all... so when I saw the title of your post I actually nearly didn't click on it as the last thing I should be doing is "nothing"!!!

    I still think you are a "doer" - in a way I admire very much. I was thinking of you when I printed out my black and white photos and actually put them in the frames this morning....I have done two out of three - see "doing"!!! So you have a break from "doing" and I'll try and "do" some work.... we'll compare notes on Monday!

    I recommend a box set of some crap TV show until you can take no more... Ann x

  7. Reading is my favourite "waste" of time. I go through bursts of productivity and then times of procrastination. It all evens out in the end! :) Have a great weekend. x

  8. The only time I get into the 'doing nothing' zone is after I've been at the cottage for about a week and then I'm able to just sit and think and look around and be still. It is very rejuvenating. I love it - haven't done that this summer. Just too busy, busy!

  9. Doing nothing? What is that? Where do I get some?
    I think blogging for me is doing nothing. It is a guilty pleasure that asks nothing more of me than to enjoy. Better go....nothing awaits.
    X Briohny

  10. Hi Kerry,
    Well, I have turned 'doing nothing' into an art form !! hehe.
    If you could go to University and do it, I would get a first with honours. I'm brilliant at it. I don't feel guilty at all. I have absolutely no problem with it so, if there is anyone out there who would like some help with it, just give me a ring !!!! XXXX

  11. I spent the best part of my life feeling guilty on the rare occasions that I found myself with nothing to do. But now that I'm retired I positively wallow in doing's a wonderful feeling. This is my time...I just wish I'd allowed more "me time" years ago.

    I enjoy watching DVDs of TV serials back to back for a whole day...absolute bliss

  12. Such an exiting blog, and beautiful pictures. I'll definitive follow it and at the same time say thanks for following mine. :)


  13. Hi Kerry, I am not much help... I hate doing nothing and it drives Ben a little crazy! He can do nothing, but I tend to agree with Kerri's comments. To me doing a little something is my nothing time if that makes any sense? I hope you have a lovely weekend doing whatever you wish! ;-)

  14. Hi Kerry, I am always trying to get to the stage of 'nothing to do' I have this vision that I can get everything done, so I have 'nothing to do' but things just keep on coming! 'nothing to do' to me means that all the mundane household jobs are done so I can concentrate on enjoying myself, this could be anything: blogging, reading, doing my nails, going out for the day etc. Without the nagging worry and guilt that there is something much more boring but necessary to do!

    Apologies for not being around much have been experiencing some major computer problems, Grrr

  15. Absolutely love this - need it on my wall! If I'm at home I'll always find something to do. I need to go away to relax - which now sounds kind of sad! I guess my nothing to do time would be when I get to wonder aimlessly through shops. Hope you have a great weekend either doing something or nothing. Michelle

  16. Dear Kerry, I agree that 'doing nothing' is both a luxury and a necessity. My parents would always insist that I 'fill the shining hour' with meaningful activity which, in their minds did not include reading a book. Now, I relish the freedom I have to spend endless hours buried in a good book without a care or a chore on my mind. Bliss!!

    Have a lovely weekend!

  17. One day I will experience this. I will be tucked up in my bed at The Twilight Home for the Terminally Bewildered & won't even know that it's happened!!
    Millie ^_^

  18. Lol:) I like sitting behind a window with my book, drinking tea, while its raining outside.

  19. Not sure I could do absolutely nothing, but I have no problem putting aside all the responsibilities on occasion and doing something FUN -- like reading a good book from start to finish and only stopping long enough to eat... or spending a half day or a full day creating something, whether it's the start of a quilt, a small craft project, or something good to eat because I had "an idea"... or these days I could spend hours dreaming and writing down/sketching ideas for the house we'll be building. Since I'm one of those people who get my battery re-charged by being alone, these activities sustain me and make it possible to shoulder those responsibilities and keep on going.

  20. Though I do have little kids running around in the house I am a big believer of 'nothing to do' - not only because it is an important factor in allowing the kids to process and recharge, but also because it stimulates creativity, imagination and resourcefulness. Always having activities 'served on a plate' is not constructive in my humble opinion.
    So those magical moments when there is 'nothing to do' we fill with spontaneity and fun.. or by just laying flat on our backs watching a starry sky, clouds floating by or something else that would be classified as 'doing nothing'.

    x C


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