December 2, 2012

The Art of Doing Nothing

Posted in Crashes, ME/CFS at 8:25 pm by Reva

I’m not a good patient.  This weekend I promised to do nothing.  Last week I worked full time again, and as two days I was attending a course I also did homework.  Friday at about 1pm I was thinking how well I’d managed such a full week, but about an hour later I hit the wall.  I managed to pass the end of course quiz.  It was the type of quiz that years ago I’d get brilliant marks on – multiple choice, had the answers right up till the last minute.  I did okay, and I don’t think the marks meant a lot because the course is a competency based class but I was still frustrated because about halfway through the test I lost concentration.  Not matter how much I tried to focus, I read the words but by the time I got the end of the question I’d forgotten the start of it.

So by the end of the day I told myself I was going to do nothing all weekend or I’d be a mess before next week starts.  But first I had to bake biscuits.  They were fine – chuck 4 ingredients in a bowl, spoon them on a tray and bake.  Easy.  I sat down afterwards, watched TV.  I even got to bed on time – I thought I was doing well.

Saturday morning I had to deliver the biscuits.  I thought that since I was out early I should drop in and get some Christmas shopping done before the shops got busy.  I got home at lunchtime.

After that I made myself sit down and eat lunch.  I watched some TV but then decided I had to put up the Christmas tree.  And start to make some stuffed toys that were to be Christmas gifts, after all I had to get one in the mail to be in the US by Christmas.  So I moved between hanging decorations, cutting out material and dragging out the sewing machine.  Then it was tea time.

While I was cooking my tea I realised I couldn’t live with the dirty dishes a minute longer, so instead of resting while my dinner cooked I washed dishes.  After tea I made myself ignore the strewn Christmas decorations and material that was all over my lounge room and sat myself up on the couch and put on a movie.  I can’t even to manage to watch a movie without doing nothing – I told myself I was multitasking texting a friend and catching on blog reading.  I soon realised I didn’t have a clue what was happening on the movie and gave up.  On the Brightside, I went to bed on time again.

That brings us to today.  After discovering my bread was growing green fur I decided I had to make pancakes (because cereal doesn’t cut it on a Sunday).  I did spend an hour or so reading the paper…between doing a few loads of washing.  Then I realised that I couldn’t live without a star on the top of the Christmas tree.  So I went to the local shops.  I really wanted to finish up the soft toys, at least enough so I could pack up the sewing machine.  So I did.  In between packing up the boxes that the Christmas decorations were in, hanging some more Christmas lights, and making the bed.  And letting the dog in and out.  And trying to find the ball the neighbours kids swear went over the fence.

So here it is, Sunday night and I’m thinking that I really do need that day off mid-week, and I really do need to learn how to do nothing.

I'll call it Sunturday



  1. Mommabel said,

    Just reading that post almost made me hit the “wall”. Yes, doing nothing is an art. Somehow it is built in that we feel guilty about “doing nothing”, and we “can’t live” with the dirty dishes, or the mess in the living room etc. We have to somehow be justifying our existence.

    I have no choice at the moment. My body will shut down physically whether I make a decision or not. But to prevent that from happening in public, I really have to balance it out. If I do one thing, I have to counteract it with twice as much rest. At least I try to.

    And yes, cereal does cut it for breakfast on a Sunday. For lunch and dinner as well.

    I hope you are feeling better!!

    • Reva said,

      Thanks Mommabel. I think of all the things I need to start doing to get back on top of this, resting properly and turning off the voice in my head that has to be doing something needs to be first.

  2. Isn’t it funny how we’d love some time to do nothing, but when we actually get it, it drives us crazy. I know that when I was ordered to rest by the hospital I went crazy from doing nothing, even though I really had no strength. Thanks for popping by my blog

    • Reva said,

      Thank you for the return visit. I’m working hard on being able to stop and rest properly.

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