The Unexpected Joy of Doing Nothing

photo of woman meditating

It’s Saturday morning and I’ve spent the week skiing in the snow covered Rockies with 3 “kids” in their 20s. I’m rockin it.

I get up and make us eggs and coffee. We catch the shuttle and spend hours riding lifts and making S turns down the blue runs. The sun comes out for 20 minutes and then snow flurries begin. We stop for lunch. Then back to it.

After a few hours we catch the shuttle back to condo. Shins, knees and everything aching we hop into hot showers and find a local dining spot, then back to the house for a game of Apples to Apples and binging “Alone” on Netflix.

It’s been awesome. And it is day 4 and the kids are off to catch the early shuttle and guess who is writing a blog on the couch with her second cup of coffee? That would be me!

Some days we just need to catch our breath.

According to research there are limits to how much stress the body can tolerate before it breaks down and suffers injury. Doing too much unfamiliar exercise too quickly can result in muscle damage. Recovery allows the body to replenish energy stores and repair damaged tissues.

During grief, taking time to be gentle with yourself is often one of the harder things to learn. Knowing there is so much that needs to be done is overwhelming. Days come and you can’t do a thing. I resorted to making limited lists: 3 things to accomplish each day. Shower, walk dog and mail that bill could often be enough for one day.

Teachers who have been so inundated with new technologies and challenges this year face the first day of “vacation” this morning. Instead of feeling pressure to finally get the house in order or make quality time memories with your own young children at home, take this precious moment to just do nothing.

Feeling overwhelmed or guilty isn’t a helpful emotion. Understand that some days it’s time to recharge your batteries.

It’s like how the flight attendant tells us be sure to put on your own oxygen mask before trying to help others. You won’t be good to anyone if you are unconscious.

My mom was good at this. She knew when she needed a break, and as she got older learned to say no and take time to recharge. When she was with us she was 100% present and engaged. That is a good thing to be!

I must admit I still have a bad case of FOMO (fear of missing out). If there is some fun adventure or gathering I have an opportunity to participate in, I don’t want to miss out.

In many ways this helped me move forward after the death of my husband. I was invited to visit friends, I did. I was invited to learn how to play Bridge, I did. I signed up for yoga classes and Meet ups and even on line dating. I was not going to miss out on anything!

But today I think I’ll skip the morning of skiing and take some alone time to reflect, rest and recharge. It actually feels amazing to be quiet this morning with no agenda. I guess that is what a vacation can be as well.

Time to get back to doing nothing. Have a great weekend friends.


5 Responses

    1. Thanks for reading. It is hard sometimes but think of it as recharging, it’s so important ❤️

  1. There is so much pressure to “do something” to show you have a “purpose” and “passion” in life. I’ve become increasingly comfortable with giving myself permission to do nothing and just be if that’s what I’m feeling. It takes getting used to, for sure.

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Runaway Widow
Join me, Kristin, on my journey to adjust to the sudden death of my husband and learn to live as a young, middle-aged, remarried widow.

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