When Doing Nothing was Doing Something.

I had plans yesterday. I was going to cut the grass, and maybe do a little hunting. It was a day off, and I had plans for it. The day started early, with me waking up at 4:30, because I suck at adapting to daylight savings time.

After everyone got up, just as I started to get ready to get things done, it started to rain. Not a lot, but enough to cancel the outdoor plans. So, we all settled into various comfy seats and did….nothing. We watched a little TV, we played some games, had lunch, and accomplished absolutely nothing. Even my wife put her shop orders on the back burner for the day and snuggled on the couch with The Narrator for a while.

I spent most of the day either under my trusty green blanket on the recliner with Mini-Me, or on the floor with the two boys standing, jumping, bouncing, or falling on me.

Everything slowed down for the day. We’re about to plunge into a few weeks of sheer chaos as I transition into this new job which necessitates a massive shift in sleep schedule. We’re also staring a dreaded ‘lag pay schedule’ in the face less than a month before Christmas, which means that unless I come up with something clever, it’ll be an entire month between my last paycheck of the current job, and the first paycheck of the new job, which is like being handed a cement block while you’re treading water.

But none of that was a concern yesterday. We watched cartoons and drank hot cocoa, we built block towers and knocked them down again. We dozed and we played. The day ended peacefully too- the usually disastrous dinner time was avoided by a new tactic I employed with the notoriously picky Narrator.

“As soon as I finish my dinner, I start on yours, and every bite of your food I take, you owe me one piece of your Halloween candy. If you finish before I do, you get two pieces for dessert.”

It worked brilliantly, and we had our first tear-free dinner which didn’t include hot dogs or spaghetti in weeks. I ran out for a quick ambulance call at 5:30 (I wasn’t on call until 6, but again, I suck at adapting to daylight savings time, and my brain told me it was 6:30 when the tones dropped) We were RMA’d, which meant no transport, so I was home in time to help put the boys to bed. I got to put The Narrator to bed, and listened to him read three books his school sent home. (His ‘homework’ is to read 15 minutes every night) He’s reading brilliantly, and it was a fantastic way to wrap the day.

When my wife and I came out of the boys’ rooms, we promptly fell asleep on the couch watching reruns of Mythbusters- not because we particularly care for the show, but because we didn’t particularly care what else was on.

In the end, all I accomplished was dumping the now-rotted tomato plants from their buckets outside, and cleaning up the raised planter I’d built as an experiment this summer. No more than 30 minutes of actual constructive activity (save the ambulance call) all day. We spent the day in close proximity to each other as a whole, and while I woke up early again this morning- I’m so incredibly rested, that for once I didn’t finish my first cup of coffee immediately looking for a second, and the demands of the day don’t seem as insurmountable as Everest if I were blindfolded and in flip-flops.

Sometimes, you literally need to do as much nothing as possible.


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