Monday, September 20, 2010

Practicing the Fine Art of Doing Nothing

Let me tell you - doing nothing is not getting enough attention.  It seems to me that everywhere I turn it's go, go, go - and the next thing you  know I'm going, going, gone.  In the past year or so I seem to have been swept away in a flow of activity that hasn't added a single thing to my life.  By the time I do find a second to do something I'd like *read:  Friday night on the town* all that happens is me passed out in bed fully clothed by 8pm.  I mean seriously, I can't even stay awake during a movie anymore and that is not okay.  This state of chaos is something that's been bothering me a lot lately.  I get that a person has to work and be productive and contribute - really I get that.  However it appears that's not enough anymore and I'm getting pulled in 14 directions by people who are just trying to suck as much out of me as they can get for themselves without any thought of how their behavior might be affecting me.  Wait.  Did you hear that screeeeeeeech? 

That was me putting on the brakes.  Because this is stopping now.

By the time this past Friday hit I was so exhausted I actually felt nauseous - and lemme tell ya it was not fun.  Just before noon I shut my telephone off, was finished work by 2:58pm and bawling my head off by 3:15pm watching Oprah fulfill a gaggle of Wildest Dreams (still not sure how she managed to steal my life?!?).  Next thing I knew my eyes opened and it was after 7pm, the Chef was in the kitchen and Chance Chancellor (Y&R people - get there!!) wasn't dead after all.  Miracles always happen on Fridays in Soap Opera land!!  How do I get there?? 

You know doing nothing really is an art form to be perfected.  It means making zero plans, potentially lying around in a vegetative state with or without television, in clean or not so clean clothes, eating out of a chip bag all day or maybe making a slough of food - doing nothing means whatever you want it to.  And so it was.  An entire weekend of nothing.  Now if it could just last for 3 more consecutive days I might actually be nearing the stage of "rested". 

Here's just a little of what doing nothing consisted of for me this weekend.

Mid-morning strolls for tea.  My weekend dream state - lounging over tea.
 Discovering a pizza joint in my neighborhood had gluten-free beer on the menu.
And pizza.  That's it in the upper right corner.  
Saturdays filled with aimless wandering = bliss.
I tried to choose some candy, but it started to resemble work
so I had to snap out of it and get back to nothing.
Catching an amazing sunset at the beach with zero distractions = the height of doing nothing.
Of course this doesn't rank too far behind it. 
I really need to follow my cat's lead.  He clearly has nothing down to a science.

Technically the weekend's not over so I have to get back to practice, but before I jet - what were you up to?  How do you set boundaries to ensure your sanity/state of mind is not infringed upon?  If you are just getting started - I strongly suggest a period of doing nothing to detox and calm your weary mind.  It does wonders!

71 comments:

Fashion, Art and other fancies said...

Oh, poor you feeling exhausted and all. Am glad you got some bed-rest though. I always try to get to bed before 11p.m. at the weekends. I feel so refreshed on Monday morning - like the first blossom of spring. Have nice week ahead and look after yourself. Always follow your cat's footsteps;-)

ilovemyhouse said...

I am in the middle of feeling like that! Just started to get some energy back, because of doing nothing ( including no blogging).
Hope you feel better as well after the weekend.

XX

Collette Osuna said...

I feel your pain...as if every second is already planned before it even happens...I have a hard time going from overdrive to nothing too...sometimes, its just NEEDED for our sanity!!

Have a fashionable day:)
Statements in Fashion Blog

Half Dressed said...

Sometimes I think time really does get the better of us. There either isn't enough of it so we're stressed and going crazy or there is too much of it, where we can find anything to do. It likes to taunt us.

L x
Half Dressed

Leia said...

Doing nothing is actually much harder than I thought! I feel a bit lost without an essay to work on, but I'm overdosing on reading, playing piano, and watching tv!

Leia

Jessica said...

You're right - doing nothing doesn't get the credit it deserves. I even feel guilty admitting to my coworkers that I didn't do a darn thing when they ask about my weekend. Time to start embracing it! (However, I will never consider choosing candy "work!")

Debby said...

Sounds like you need to simplify! Maybe Italy is in your future... haven't they perfected this art? What's that saying they use? Anywho... I have learned to say no and only do what I want to do and life is much better!! xo

Diana Mieczan said...

I love doing nothing and I miss those times so much...I am going to try and make the time one day...I exactly know what you mean...I have days that I am so tired that I have a hard time staying awake...Kisses,sweetie
Glad you had a great weekend

Lori said...

I hear you, I hear you. There are so many things on my to do list I get exhausted just thinking about it. I took Sunday as my do nothing today ~ after I made brunch and went grocery shopping! We did head out in the afternoon and spent a lazy day at the in-laws camp ~ with good company, conversation and food I came home last night feeling better ~ but things seem to leer at me and as I plop my butt down on the couch to watch a little of the boob tube ~ ooh well, there is always next week-end ~ right??!! Happy Monday.
PS: I cried watching Oprah pretty much every day last week!

The Zhush said...

So very jealous! I am long overdue for a weekend just like this....and to be near the beach like that, lucky you! :)

style'n said...

Carrie- I can really relate to this post. I had such a rough week last week b/c it was so busy. By the time the weekend came I just wanted to do nothing (so rare these days). Friday I said no to friends and just stayed in and relaxed. These days I love doing nothing...it seriously never used to be that way!
naina

Closet Fashionista said...

I used to do nothing all the time...but sadly now I can't anymore since I entered the real world. I try to do nothing on the weekends though but now those turn into seeing people time :p
http://aclosetfashionista.blogspot.com/

Danielle (elleinadspir) said...

I think 'stopping' is so hard to do...but it shouldn't be. This post is a reminder that we all need to slow down. And your cat is adorable. Looks a lot like my little one :)

Cara said...

The next time you have one of these weekends, can I come tag along?

ChinkyGirLMeL said...

Gosh, I couldn't have said it better. I am missing the feeling of being bored. I am way too busy these past few months, I no longer have time for myself and that is a bad bad thing. I need some me time

Ms. Givens said...

I hear ya. I get to that point too. I recently separated from my husband and realized that we went, went, went all the time just to have something to fill the giant void of a marriage we had. Now that he is gone I can actually just sit and read, take 2 hour naps with the dogs on Saturday and eat Subway for dinner at least 4 nights a week. I am not saying separating is the answer but we do sometimes fill our lives with too much to avoid the reality of what we actually have. Does that make senses?

Lisa Griffin said...

Woooo hooo I totally agree! I started with this then was taken over with possibly feeling sick which required treking looking for homeopathic remedies, so I will have to try again!
www.indramaticfashion.com

Taylor said...

Girl I hear ya!!! I had something every minute this weekend, it was fun but I am ZONKED today!!! I love my nothing time! It is noramlly a day of PJ's (either Sat or Sun) while the Hubs is at work...I clean I read, I do laundry - those are all kinda chores, but I do them at my pace, with my music blasting and it is oddly relaxing for me! I feel like I haven't stopped since last friday...not the one we just had but the one before that! No more after work running around and more gym and relaxing for me this week!

Café Bellini said...

Oh tell me about exhaustion. I am so tired. Happy but tired from the move. It's a never-ending process... we are in the new place but we have people coming in every day to check, measure, install or repair (think: lights, kitchen, shower doors, mirrors etc).

Cool Gal said...

My weekend was spent at a hockey tournament which can be totally exhausting. We won, so of course I had to listen to rich, "whiny" parents (suburbs similar to Beverly Hills) from opposing teams. Good lord, get over it! You got beat! Bahahaha...we, of course, LOVED IT! Nothing better than beating the western suburbs!

I need today to recover which I will do since everyone is back to work and school. Clean a little, eat a little, not much else.

I agree. Being lazy is underrated! Everyone needs to do "nothing" once in a while.

Have a good day!

Connie @ SogniESorrisi said...

Doing it nothing, doing it well and not feeling guilty afterwards is a great life skill.

Daisy said...

I have been going, going, gone all month and I will be for the next few weekends straight. I fear I will never get a break like the one you had this weekend. It's been a fun month of traveling but I can't wait to have a do nothing weekend. Those are the best!

Jess said...

You poor thing! Stress is not healthy for the bod Miss Thing, glad you're working on that and getting a hold on it rather than continuing on with it all. That candy looks like colorful, sweet MADNESS. WOW. Take you some NAPS!!!!!

PursuitOfLLT said...

We all reach our breaking points. For me it was right after the bar exam, I am not exaggerating when I say I slept for 12 hours a night for almost 10 days. When your body needs it, you know it!

I prefer to not do this when I'm at my breaking point haha I like to turn my cell on silent, put on comfy clothes and watch some really bad tv or an old movie. Maybe I'll get crazy and cook or bake something while standing in my pjs and a crazy ponytail on the top of my head.

Stacey said...

I have come to realize that being a mom (with a baby) equals exhaustion/sleep deprivation all the time:-), plus the past week has been off the chain crazy. I know exactly what you mean about being pulled in many directions:-(. I try to steal naps whenever i can to stay afloat. Re Y&R, i had a nagging feeling that Chance wasn't dead. When i saw him show up, i was like, "i knew it!" XX

Brianna said...

I feel like my life does this in spurts. Where I'm so busy I feel like I might die of exhaustion and then when I'm so bored I want to rip my hair out. I need to work on getting to more of a happy medium :)

Hope your weekend was wonderfully slow!

Cathi said...

I am an expert in the art of doing nothing! haha..My sister used to tell me that I was selfish, but I have always disagreed with that. If you don't make time for yourself first, you aren't any good to anyone else! We all are busy in our lives but we need to make an appt with ourselves to just relax, breathe and replenish our energy. Have a beautiful week! :)

Amie said...

I did nothing all day yesterday and it was amazing. Woke up to my (someday) mother in law making biscuits and gravy and then spent the rest of the day out by the pool. It started with a pile of magazines, which I promptly fell asleep on. I was out there napping for about 3 hours, and which time the dog jumped up on the lounger with me and woke me up. A trip for lunch at our favorite Redlands spot and then promptly returned back to the house for a mini movie marathon.

A wonderful day of doing nothing, indeed.

Bella *Bellgetsreal said...

I have just given you an award. Please come by and get it.

Love reading your blog and wanted to thank you.

Marissa said...

I did a whole lot of nothing on Saturday, too. It was wonderful! So underrated.

xo Marissa
(The Well-Appointed Catwalk)

Josie said...

My dear girl, I am so very proud of you for taking a break. You deserve it more than anyone, honestly. And can I just say that pizza sounds absolutely delectable right now?
xo Josie
http://winksmilestyle.blogspot.com

nadia said...

I was actually feeling guilty about my own weekend of nothingness.. thank you for this post! We deserve it! (And by we, I mean the whole world).

xo, Nadia

Alicia said...

ah doing nothing sounds glorious! sometimes weekends are more tiring than the week and no plans at all are more exciting then having plans!

Anna Walker said...

Ha! I also pretty much did nothing this weekend :) It's great right?! I came home, and it's nice, not needing to do much, is lovely.

Panda said...

oh i hear ya on doing too much and people sucking it all out of you. i am or was like that, one day i said thats it! i am going to do what i want and what makes me happy. since then most of the time i am rested and it feels amazing...no one even got mad cause i didnt hang out as much. :)
Happy monday!

LouBoo said...

Beach and bed - my two fave things...and boots...shoes...ummmm, I have been shopping today and it's gone to my head! L x

Miranda said...

Lovely blog! I just started following!
http://washingtondcfashion.blogspot.com/

Marie Z. said...

Even if you're doing nothing you're still doing SOMETHING ; ) har har. Sounds like a pretty great weekend to me! And your bed looks sooooo comfy!

I make sure not to overdue it during the week. If I'm tired I try and stay in and save the more energetic activities for the weekend : )

Oh yeah, and sleep is VERY important!

corksandcaftans said...

I only counted one comment stating how cute your cat is, and that is a travesty. Little cat knuckles gripping the duvet in pleasure---and this kitty has a gentle happy face, too! I hope Eli can grow into that sweetness!

I'm too much of a freaking mad napper to even weigh in on this conversation with any legitimacy. I'm embarrassed; I nap... all the time. I might even be half cat.

I mourn the day I don't live a block from where I work and can't bicycle home and pass out for an hour each day. I feel like I just admitted that to a circle of people at an AA meeting.
xx

take it easy (really. do.)
Carey

Fé... said...

This is the only comment that can come out of my mouth: What a wonderful life. Hahahahaha. Hope this pleasure continues darling...

DolceDreams said...

Jealous I am...Good for you! I need to take some leads :)
Nathalie

OneCraftyFox said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this post... it was a roller coaster of emotions... does that mean I need to chill and do nothing too?? lol!

Right now I bet your cat and my cat are doing the same thing. Gawd, how I wish I could just fall asleep anywhere!! Well, maybe not on the subway line, for many obvious reasons... :P

The Owl's Closet said...

Carrie, glad to hear that you were able to relax after a crazy week!! Yes, it seems like the art of doing nothing is becoming a lost art:(

TheOwlsCloset.blogspot.com

A said...

great post! doing nothing is so underrated! i have the next two days off and this is exactly what i plan on doing. this inspires me to bring my camera along with me on my short getaway to nothingsville and post about it :)

Katie said...

Good for you for putting on the brakes! You have to know your own limits, something I'm working at. Saturday Jared's family came over for 12 hours of football (lovely southern tradition). About 4 or 5 hours in (what's considered "a full day" for me lately), I couldn't take anymore so I peaced out, went back to my bedroom, and crawled into bed. Before 7. Before dinner. With company over. Hey, you do what you gotta do, right? (I'm still convincing myself it was an ok thing to do!)

So... yeah. Relax! Do nothing! I will, too and we'll be ok with it.

20 York Street said...

I tried to do nothing but it didn't work! I'm glad you had a blissful weekend!

besos,

2O YORK STREET

Valerie said...

This post is so funny to me because "doing nothing" is literally my favorite thing to do. Mostly because I never have a chance to do nothing. But when I do...watch out! Your weekend looks so relaxing and perfect! I thought of you this weekend as I made flourless peanut butter cookies. Then I thought of you as I ate about 12 of them in one sitting. Yum. I agree, weekends should be 5 days long. Then maybe we'd all feel rested. Hope your Monday's going well!

xo
Valerie

THE ALTERNATIVE WIFE said...

I am so right there with u! I seriously think they need to reconsider this whole 5 day work week thing. I'm much more productive when I get 3 days of rest to 4 days of work. I was so exhausted by the end of last week {and most weeks for that matter} I totally needed a weekend of R&R. Luckily I got it and I feel like a new person today :)

Hope you're having a great Monday and glad you were able to have a fabulously relaxing weekend xoxo

LyddieGal said...

I think it was in high school when I discovered the movie Office Space and the epiphany that is 'nothing'. I often lose several hours and occasionally a day or two to the nothing.

Last night was meant to be two hours of nothing movie watching, but for some reason the phone rang 20 times (no exaggeration) and the nothing was completely ruined.

I used to fantasize about what it would be like to have a Freaky Friday experience with the dog for day, but they were actually never enjoyable, as they would turn to worry over what the dog would be doing to my body while in it...

Chic on the Cheap

fashion clocked said...

Hey lovely! How have you been... well apart from being pulled in a million directions and clearly totally exhausted!!? What a nightmare it's hard to know when to stop and to say no- I am suffering with M.E nightmare so exhausted is part of my everyday vocabulary. I must admit that I still fight on and continue to do too much....
I have loved catching up on missed posts- the cooking, the fur, the romantic military- all great and the apple pie ice cream such an indulgence!!
Chat soon .katie.xxxx
fashion clocked

Annie said...

Carrie, I LOVE this post.. "You know doing nothing really is an art form to be perfected" - you are SO, SO, SO right. I'm working on this art form myself.. it's funny how challenging it can be for some of us! Consider the post I have scheduled for this Friday a dedication to you :) I hope you have a truly relaxing week and thanks for the reminder to do "nothing" more often myself!
Lots of Love,
Annie

Annie said...

Also, loving that you found some gluten-free beer! ;)

asequindressatbreakfast said...

oh i so love this...you are so right, the art of doing nothing is hard to master. i always feel like i should be doing something...if not working, then working on a blog post, workout out, catching up with friends, spending time with fam...gahhh it can be so overwelming! um but that candy drawer pic...that looks like heaven!

kiley

http://asequindressatbreakfast.wordpress.com

S and O said...

I know that feeling, I'm trapped in the middle of a semister right now and I so wish I could do nothing a LOT :D

Xoxo
Sarah

Danielle Barbe said...

oh god.. i need this. i'm just constantly swamped and when i DO have "me time" i have to schedule it. doing nothing for maybe one hour isn't as great as an entire empty weekend.

i admire you! way to go for it. totally following in your footsteps.

Heather {A Measure Of...} said...

Carrie! This helps me remember how I ever ended up here in the first place. I RAN away from all that craziness. Now I miss it, of course. But that IS the draw of this extremely inhospitable place: the fact that it's so far away, you don't even have to get involved with the news. (I used to be a news junkie, way too political, all that jazz. It was even part of my day job to be these things. And it does nothing for the soul!) So I ran away to space, lots and lots of space. So much space, it kinda traps you (because there's nowhere to go and getting anywhere really requires plane tickets.) I know there is a happy medium out there somewhere. I hope I can hold onto the spaciousness I've acquired here and return to the grind without being ground.

Good for you on doing nothing this weekend! You nothing looks FABULOUS!

Hugs!
heather

Ashley [Free Honey] said...

I had a lovely relaxing Sunday too. Sometimes it just feels so good to do nothing and be alone.

Chas said...

My weekend was very similar. I get in such a habit of planning my weekends to an exact science that I never end up relaxing and all, but I'm slowly trying to be ok with doing absolutely nothing!

Chic 'n Cheap Living said...

Glad you got to do your nothing! Sometimes we really need to detach and just relax like you did (mmm and was the pizza good as well?)

Style Attic said...

I get it! No need to explain here!! Why do the geriatric days of endless sleep and nothing left to say sound appealing sometimes?? Good for you, I completely agree. It's the "Art of Being" :) XO, Kelly

She Wore It Well said...

We need more photos of the cat!! I love cats but am allergic, so the best I can do is photos!

Illness forced me to do nothing on Sunday - it was greatttttttttttttttttt. But when I do nothing for a day, the next day is really unproductive :(

Anna Jane said...

for a weekend of nothing, it seemed sort of productive (but of GOOD things...not lame errands/mundane tasks). glad you got a breather...maybe do the same next weekend to recharge those batteries even more?! you deserve it, lady.

xx anna jane

Jammer said...

god if only I was freaking Sydney Bristow!! Then I could stop doing my current job haha which btw, you were totally right about!

This whole doing the same thing day after day after day at the corporate job kinda makes me want to throw my laptop off of a bridge lol. I'm definitely going to be going after the jobs that will offer the type of experiences I'm actually looking for next time around!

I just dubbed you the official voice of reason of the bloggin world. And, to celebrate, I will be taking your advice and be doing a whole lot of nothing next weekend!

bananas. said...

if that's what you call doing nothing...then my doing nothing needs to step it up.

i painted all weekend. blah boring.

Miss Caitlin S. said...

I know it's standard to say "oooo I love this post" in blogging land but I really do love this post. I totally agree with you!!!!! I think we all need to take a step back. Also, I love the images of your simple decadence... I thought the beer pic was my favorite (i'm a beer girl) but then I saw the cat in bed and what I can assume is you and it looked like the coziest scene ever. I loved it! Probably my fave was this though: "I get that a person has to work and be productive and contribute - really I get that." haha you totally sound like you're convincing yourself of this :)

Olya said...

sometimes, you have to do nothing!:)
and this post has made me very hungry! lol
XOXO, Olya

www.theate-olya.blogspot.com

S.I.F. said...

Oh my! Do you have any idea how much you just made me miss So Cal?

The beach picture, and more importantly; The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf! I so desperately miss Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf! Far superior to any other coffee anywhere, and not to be found in Anchorage!

Mmmmmmm.... my mouth is watering!

Poppies and Sunshine said...

How great that you just got to rest all weekend! Sounds amazing. I've been having a hard time staying awake through a movie...sometimes even a tv show for the past couple weeks now. I think I need a weekend like this!

christine, just bella said...

ugh, this sounds perfect. I love doing nothing and sometimes have to schedule doing nothing days... I think it's necessary for your sanity.

That is SO weird about the schnitzel joint in Calgary - small world! Your sis-in-law is right, it's a must go!!! Next time you're there. do it :)

Kristin W said...

Ahhhh...the best kinds of days :) I always say I just want to switch places with my cat for the day. House cats don't know how good they have it ;)

Frameless Shower Door said...

your blog reminds of my good memories and some amazing journeys. :)

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