All the Nothing

Calvin and Hobbes, by Bill Watterson


“There’s never enough time to do all the nothing you want.”

I have the time. What I lack is the nothing.

It’s been a while since I made a new year’s resolution. Normally I set goals–a list of things I’d like to accomplish during the next year. I don’t beat myself up over failing to meet those goals, though, as life often takes tangents. I might not have written my article for Uncyclopedia yet (a goal I’ve had for about four years now), but I did get to visit New Orleans. Finally!

This year, my goal and resolution, is to learn how to relax. Instead of filling my downtime with activities and hobbies, I want to learn how to do nothing. Absolutely nothing.

It’s going to be a challenge. During yoga when everyone else is breathing and clearing their minds, I’m plotting–or just chatting with my characters. Or wondering if I’ll be able to unfold my legs when it’s time to stand up. When I’m walking, I tend to listen to audio books, or chat to my husband if I’ve dragged him out with me. I can’t use the elliptical machine. I find it boring. That whole going nowhere thing irritates me. And when I do sit (collapse) on the couch, I usually have a handful of electronic gadgets with me. I fold laundry while I watch movies.

So…nothing. I need to figure out how to do nothing.

Does sitting with a cat on my lap count? What about listening to music–while just sitting. Or walking?

Pity I don’t have the funds (or the time) for a week at the beach. I’m really good at doing nothing on the beach. I like to just lie there, soaking up the sun, listening to the waves and the babble of voices. If I try that in the snow, I’ll die of hypothermia. Or get locked away somewhere.

Oh! Okay, getting committed isn’t a good way to pursue nothing, is it.

Published by Kelly Jensen

Writer of love stories. Bibliophile. Gamer. Hiker. Cat herder. Waiting for the aliens. 👽 🏳️‍🌈

4 thoughts on “All the Nothing

  1. I think the key is your goal, to “relax”. It doesn’t have to be so much about truly doing nothing…sitting silently and contemplating nothingness (lol)…but is all about what relaxes you. If sitting and listening to music relaxes you, then great. Or take a walk and don’t listen to anything except the sounds outside and the conversation you choose to have with yourself, or your characters, during the jaunt. I would think the easiest way to actually accomplish this is to schedule some times when you won’t actively be reading or listening to audio books or working out writing problems but will instead be sitting, or walking, and just doing what comes naturally.

    1. Yep. I definitely need to listen to more music. I’m not sure when it stopped being a daily thing. Scheduling my time outs appeals to my sense of order too. 😀

  2. It’s also your own view as to what “Nothing” is. I could be sitting there finally reading a book I’ve been meaning to and my mother would consider that as me “doing nothing”. Staring out the window with a pad and pen in hand while I let the characters talk to me would be thought of as daydreaming (i.e. doing nothing) by my father, but my significant other will go out of their way to make sure I’m not disturbed because I’m Getting Things Done.

    For me, doing nothing is sitting there with a cup of coffee and surfing the internet for mindless junk. Funny pictures that make me laugh, videos of amazing stunts I’d never be able to do, or finding a detailed wiki of a favorite band. At the end I look at how many hours have gone by and grumble at myself because I managed to do absolutely nothing productive.

    I did get to shut off my mind for a while though. So I guess a key element for me is how much brain power I’m using.

    1. I think you’ve hit the proverbial nail on the head right there: how much brain power you’re using. That’s just it. So many quiet hobbies require brain power and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Use it or lose it, right? But sometimes you just need to switch off.

      Tumblr is good for losing time! So is Buzzfeed. Those bloody lists and quizzes.

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