The Value of Nothing

Ana Glasses

Sometimes we live our lives in such a busy way that we hardly ever pause to take a breath. I try to make a conscious effort to stop and notice and give gratitude. But it is not always easy.

As a mother of numerous children, it is difficult to even find time to have a glass of water. It kinda goes like this: oh, I’m thirsty, I am going to go and get a glass of water, hang on that nappy SMELLS, oh and look at that mess on the floor, what do you mean you are hungry, again? Right, what was I doing???? And so on and so forth.

Last weekend, ALL of my children went to their grandparents’. My husband followed on a business trip the next day. All of a sudden, for the first time in about three years, I was HOME ALONE.

Because I was prepared for this and did not want to fall in a heap, I wrote myself a HUGE list of things “to do”. I figured that this way, I would be much too busy to have time to sit down and think about anyone let alone miss them.

And I exhausted myself for three days straight. The house looks great. The garden looks great. I look great. My web pages and social media are all updated. I finally finished the two books I had wanted to read.

But not today. Today is a “nothing” day. Don’t get me wrong, my list could easily take me through to next year if I wanted to keep going but I am choosing to disregard “the list”. I am choosing to find appreciation in the “nothing”.

Taking the time to really listen to my body and do what it wants me to do. So far I drank about three litres of water AND I have been able to go to the toilet exactly when my body wanted me to, not after doing a gazillion things first, and nearly requiring a Tena Lady by the time I got there! Let me tell you, having lots of children sure does take a toll on the old bladder. And if you are holding it in, the last thing you need is a sneaky cough or a sneeze or it’s all over rover!

And I have allowed myself to think about my babies and how much I miss them. And I didn’t break down in a heap like I thought I might. I know it’s okay to miss them and it’s okay that they are building their independence without me. And that one day my house will be empty for real and I will just have to deal with that. Because, I’m like, a grown up and stuff…. (NOT!)

And I am taking pleasure in the small things like being able to have a shower without an audience. Leaving all the drawers and cupboards unlocked, leaving sharp knives on the bench… you know, it’s the little things….

So, I might describe my day today as a “nothing” day, as in, doing nothing or…. I could call it my “reflection” day, my “me” day, my “finding joy in the small things” day.

However I refer to it, it holds value for me. For even emptiness and voids are always filled with “something”, we just have to find what that is, and then appreciate the value they hold.

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Mischievious Mum

I am planning my own ‘get away weekend’. All I want is a weekend to do what I want when I want. All I want is a weekend,to look after me. Whether, I go for a walk, take a long over due nap, or just write uninterupted for however long I feel like it….this is my little dream for myself. I not only long for this weekend – I have been really looking forward to this weekend. I have been dreaming of this weekend. I feel as though my soul needs this weekend. In almost 13 years of marriage, and almost 12 years of motherhood I have never done this before.

I have been putting away a few dollars here and there for a few months now, and today, I had to hand it over to the dentist who will be taking out my husbands wisdom teeth out tomorrow. As I handed over the money, I felt the basketball in my throat. I wanted to cry. Not a wimper, not a sniffle. I wanted to really cry…maybe not a tantrum or reveal my ugly cry, I just wanted a moment to express the frustration and pain that I felt. Hubby might be losing his wisdom teeth – but I feel like I am losing the weekend I planned to regain my sanity..

As the hours passed this afternoon, i came to terms with my dilemna. It seems I am not meant to have my weekend away just yet. I will pull myself together and start saving again – Thursday is pay day! xo

Reply
    Ana Hall

    Oh thank you so much for sharing. 🙂

    I am torn between saying “you deserve that weekend and get the pliers out and pull his teeth out yourself!” and “yes, I know, we always put our needs last”.

    I have often laid in bed, not wanting to get up and change nappies and make lunches and breakfast and thinking to myself :I need to get away!!!! And then it passes. Until the next time.

    Personally, I feel that it is of utmost importance we do these things, to preserve our sanity. Because if we don’t look after us, then we can’t look after anyone else.

    You just keep putting those pennies away, no matter what. And if something “comes up”, forget yo have them!!!!!

    All my love,

    Ana xxx

    Reply
Silvia from NY

It is amazing how it use to be a lucky thing….a pleasure to do nothing…as if society are saying to be busy is a success. At one time people would take a whole day just to make spaghetti (From getting the eggs from the chicken after feeding them, watering the wheat plantation then cutting them down and then stilling them into flour, and etc. It is a luxury to be able to go to the store and buying various type of pasta nowadays. Even the washing machine can be done without having to clean it by hand, and the list goes on. It seems like we forgot to enjoy life in this way. And because of your literal busy life as a mom with a family plus her writing career…I’m glad you did absolutely nothing for that one fecking day.

By the way, sometime I noticed because I’m single..I will get comment like “oh, you are just relaxing” and etc. Yes, some days I need to be more motivated and ambigious…but some days I have to remind myself this is a gift that some people wish they had (I know single people who pride on being busy, as to be productive or something as well yet so tired all of the time. I’m not talking because they have to work a lot to survive…..but because that is all they know.)

Great article.

Reply
    Ana Hall

    Hey Silvia 🙂

    I have to say that nothing beats home made pasta! I refuse to buy pre made lasagna sheets and always make my own. Sure, I don’t get my eggs straight from the chicken or the wheat from the field and the kids “help” so it’s not always pretty but there is something comforting about making your food from scratch and enjoying the process…

    I guess also, you have to love yourself enough to be able to enjoy your own company. Many people, such as the ones you describe, are doing so much “stuff” because they are afraid of spending time “with themselves”. By keeping busy, they avoid that.

    Like with any other individual, how are you going to get to know that person unless you spend time with them? And so it is for ourselves, we need to spend time with us to get to know us 🙂

    You know what I mean 🙂 xxxxx

    Reply
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