Monday, June 04, 2012

On Doing Something and Nothing

By last Friday, I was totally ready for a weekend. (Even though, yes, it had been a four day week, preceded by a long weekend and preceded only a week before that by vacation.) But Friday afternoon, all I wanted to do was lay on our living room floor and play with my kids. And we did a lot of that this weekend.

But last night, as Mad Men was ending (our Sunday night ritual to unwind after a day full of church), I told Matt, "I feel like we didn't do anything this weekend. Just a lot of laying around and playing."

"That is doing something," Matt told me. He's much better at doing nothing than I am. Or seeing the value in it, at least.

Usually, the conversation is Matt telling me, "You don't always have to be doing something, you know." And I retort, "Well, it's impossible to do nothing. Even if you're just relaxing, you're reading a book . . . praying . . . breathing . . ." Such is my Type A logic.

We didn't really do "nothing" this weekend. Saturday morning, we did a family photo shoot with our friend Maria (another post with those photos forthcoming) and then rushed off to a birthday party for one of Kate's school friends. By 1:00, we were back home and totally exhausted, but of course the kids did not let us rest. Claire napped for maybe 40 minutes, Kate and I played Memory, I made tuna macaroni salad for dinner . . . I don't really know what we did.

I kept thinking, "We should go to the pool. We should go to the zoo. We should go outside and swing. We should go outside and blow bubbles. We should do a Pinteresting piece of handprint art. . ."

Even in my "doing nothing," I have to be "doing something."

I love Family Fun. The Fs are capitalized because only certain things seem to qualify as Family Fun. They typically involve going somewhere and spending at least a few dollars. (Oh, yeah, I remember now that we went out for frozen yogurt after dinner—probably from my guilt over doing "nothing" all afternoon.) Or creating something that can be scrapbooked.

I'm always amazed how easily my body relaxes when I remind it to. We watched "Hangover Part 2" the other night, and the scene when they go to the Buddhist monastery (before the guy starts beating everybody up) I felt my body immediately relax, my breathing regulate, and my pulse slow down, just watching the monks meditate silently. But I too often forget to consciously do that. It's much easier to fill the time with somethings (like puttering around online) that turn out to be nothings.

I enjoy prayer and meditation, intentionally being silent and still. (and I definitely enjoy naps!) I enjoy going places and making things with my family. It's the in between parts that I have trouble with—the just laying around. But that's exactly what I craved this weekend, and it's exactly what I got. Time just to be with my girls doing their ordinary thing of playing with toys on the floor, fussing and hitting one another occasionally (okay, the hitting was just one-way), enjoying life. That is something.

1 comment:

mam said...

Don't forget you did a photo shoot on Saturday morning with many Pinteresting ideas!


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