Friday, July 8, 2016

The Hardest Thing (for me) To Do

The hardest thing for me to do is to do nothing.

I want to take that back and say that sometimes it is hard for me to do nothing. But the reality is that Nothing is the hardest thing.

I recently went on vacation. The first three days were mostly driving and filling up the gas tank, getting food and coffee, then sleeping. Get up, wash our bodies, repeat. We arrived at our destination on the third day with daylight left and time to celebrate a birthday (not mine). We did. It was great. Then a couple of days off together.


Her workshop started on the evening of my fifth day off. The participants and the two instructors had a welcome dinner; I didn't go. The next day her workshop started so I drove her to the studio and then went back to where we were staying. With my coffee and no plans.

Truly, I had no plans. We had shopped. We had a little food and coffee and tea and. Laundry? I could do that. I had an event to post to Facebook (yes, a work event - which was fine). I could. Do nothing? Read? Play Angry Birds With Friends. Read. Nap.

Do nothing.

I opted to take myself to brunch after doing nothing for an hour or two.

Checked Facebook.

Read some more of my print book. Read more of my ebook.

Do nothing?

It was hard for me to Do Nothing. I did some Nothing. And a few things: read thought birds read cooked laundry read stare-at-ceiling-fan try-to-relax read nap? read birds ahha-fix-browser-no?-shit!-workaround FB-event email-re-needtoknowsituation nothing try-to-relax. Relax-dammit. Ah nothing.

And so it went.

Do nothing? Yes. I did some nothing.

After a few days I tried to write. I went to a funky cool very local cyber-café-retreat place and tried to write. Nothing came. But rather than be frustrated I worked on feedback for a friend's writing. That was good. Way better than being frustrated about my own writing. And it was fun.

Rinse. Repeat.

Nothing. Yes, some. And it was good. It did eventually lead to a bit of an anxiety attack and I wasn't going to admit it but there it is. But even that has led to good because it was and is being an opportunity to work through what I am calling "anxiety reassignment" : finding other ways to deal with anxiety than by keeping busy.

It was also a reminder that, although I may not need to Write Every Day as some writers say I should, I do have to write more often and, sometimes (often), after a period of no writing, I can't really expect to just sit down and have it flow.


Do nothing. Do writing. Do breathing. Do relaxation. Do work. Do writing. Do nothing.

Then today I read this in Austin Kleon's weekly newsletter and it's perfect. Yes. This. Me.

From Austin Kleon -