doing nothing?

Posted: August 25, 2010 at 11:00 am

Harumph. I woke up feeling worse today than I did at the end of yesterday. My throat hurts; my body feels exhausted; and I keep coughing up a lung. It’s quite attractive I tell you. Looks like today will be a day on the couch with the little girl beside me. Sometimes being sick isn’t so bad. I try to focus on the positive. Like the fact I…

get to stay in PJs all day without a care in the world.


I laughed when I put these on because M’s eyes lit up. “Ooohh! Mommy. Piiiinnnnk pants!” I guess to her they show more class than my typical workout clothes I live in? Who am I to deny her opinion?

I also get to watch a bunch of Friends during her nap.


Friends always makes me feel better. I will forever claim this show as my favorite. And I want to know where my Friends The Movie is? They had two Sex & The City movies after all.

I have free reign to eat all the yoatgurt parfaits my heart desires.


They smooth my firey throat quite well. I admit they were a second choice…but Yogli Mogli won’t deliver. I can get food from China on my doorstep but not frozen yogurt. Something wrong with that. 😉

Basically, my body forces me to take more chill time. I typically go go go from the first moment I wake. How sad that illness has to make me slow down? It reminds me of a particular moment in Eat, Pray, Love.

…Americans have an inability to relax into sheer pleasure. Ours is an entertainment-seeking nation, but not necessarily a pleasure seeking one. Americans spend billions to keep themselves amused…but that’s not the same as quiet enjoyment…We all inevitably work too hard, then we get burned out and have to spend the whole weekend in our pajamas, eating cereal straight out of the box and staring at the TV in a mild coma (which is the opposite of working, yes, but not exactly the same thing as pleasure). Americans don’t really know how to do nothing.

I agree with that. To an extent. I will be the first to admit that I don’t really know how to do nothing. The closest to that I come is my morning 20-30 minutes of prayer and Bible reading. But I would not describe it as nothing. I’m still reading and studying and communicating. Also, when I think of doing nothing it doesn’t really connate pleasure for me. I like reading, looking at blogs, talking to someone I care for on the phone, playing with my daughter, curling up on the couch with my husband and a movie, etc in those precious spare moments I can grasp.

Do I enjoy those things because that’s all I know in a society of doing and feel a need to fill time? Or do I enjoy them because they truly give me more pleasure than sitting with my thoughts? Is it wrong to want to fill time if those things increase your happiness?  While I do understand the importance of taking a break from daily stresses, I don’t know how I feel about the need to do nothing. Maybe one day I’ll know. But not today…because I know when sick I’ll be distracting myself any way I can. 😉

  • What do you do to feel better when sick?
  • How do you feel about doing absolutely nothing like described in EPL?


53 Comments to “doing nothing?”
  1. I MUST drink diet ginger ale when sick. Required. And not a little. Couple 2-liters. Weird.

    And…I actually have a goal right now to at least decrease the noise in my life. I certainly can’t do nothing, but my first step is to do tasks without background noise (tv/radio). Not going well.

    Feel better soon!

    • Tina says:

      I used to be bad about needing background noise now too. Now, when there’s quiet I revel in it. It’s always so loud with M so during her naps I try to keep things simple. I’m still DOING a lot though.

  2. I hope you get feeling better! I could watch Friends reruns all day!
    I am not very good at doing nothing. I find I can’t just enjoy it and get bored easily. Definitely something I need to work on.

  3. Doing nothing? What is that exactly? Haha. The only time that I feel I can really do nothing is when I’m visiting the house I grew up in. I’ve spent hours just sitting on the porch in the evenings, watching the sun go down. That’s my favorite way of doing nothing.

    Hope you feel better soon – how sad is that sometimes we never take the time to fully relax until our body gets sick?

    • Tina says:

      I think I can do nothing in scenes like that too. So peaceful. I love the mountains, beach, anywhere that involves nature.

  4. Oh girl, hope you feel better soon. That’s not good at all. I am not good at doing nothing. Very very bad at it actually. When I say I did nothing during a day, I still likely worked out and did at least one load of laundry, oh and blogged and read. My idea of nothing is lounging in my pool and sitting out on the patio reading.

  5. Good for you- rest up and get better. I agree- watching FRIENDS always helps 😉

    I don’t know if I enjoy doing “nothing”… I enjoy relaxing, but relaxing to me involves reading blogs, reading a book, watching Bachelor Pad (oops, did I just admit to that?!)

    PS- Just added you to my blog roll… 🙂

    • Tina says:

      Thanks so much! I believe you’re on mine from when i updated it? If not, let me know!

      And Bachelor Pad – I’m right there with you. My sis and I watched it last night.

  6. So sorry to hear you’re not feeling well 🙁

    Extra sleep always seems to help me when I’m feeling under the weather.

    Is napping considered “doing nothing”? If so I enjoy that 🙂

  7. Its tough for me to do nothing. I tend to feel like I am wasting time. When I read that part in EPL I thought “hey I should try that..but first I have 20 other things that need to get done”. I think I would benefit from nothing if it didn’t stress me out so much *sigh*

  8. It is SO hard for me to do nothing. I think that’s why days off from working out are something I struggle with!

  9. Jennifer says:

    Aw sorry that you are sick. If definitely is hard for me to do nothing throughout the day, so usually if I get sick, in the long run I enjoy the time off that I had. But it seems that I get sick during the times when I have things that must be done! You’re in my prayers. 🙂

    • Tina says:

      I’m so thankful that I got sick on the two days that I don’t have a ton going on. I hope I feel better by tomorrow because things pick up again. Thanks for the prayers. 🙂

  10. Camille says:

    Friends is my favorite show ever too!
    About 3 years ago I asked for the full box set series for my b-day. Great gift! I have probably watched the entire thing all the way through 3 or 4 times 😉

  11. To feel better? I need sleep, a hot bath/shower and lots of hot tea. If I can have a day to do just those things I usually feel better the following day. But rest is absolutely key.

    I love doing nothing — just sitting by myself, thinking, imagining, that sort of thing. I feel like I’m not being “productive” but I think it is good for my mind and I feel much more calm afterward, so how is that NOT productive?

    • Tina says:

      Good point. It really is productive to do things that leave you calm and happy. I wish I could say I feel calm just sitting and being with myself though. Definitely something I can work on!

  12. Holly says:

    I’m so sorry you’re still feeling icky. 🙁 That is no good at all. I hope you feel better soon, especially by the time the weekend rolls around!

    To feel better I sleeeep – or at least, try to. I don’t really have any sure fixes because I don’t get sick too often….

    I am really, REALLY horrible at doing nothing. I do agree, though – I think many of our definitions of “resting” would be really “vegging out,” and not completely being at peace with just sitting still. I need to work on that. 🙂

  13. Maren says:

    sometimes I need to just do nothing to refresh. I’m a stresser and a perfectionist so I need my ‘nothing’ time. I’ve always been like that, since I was a little girl. I think doing nothing sometimes is okay.

  14. Lizzy says:

    awww I am so sorry you aren’t feeling well! it looks like your day was still fabulous though! 🙂 sometime laying on the couch, zoning out to the TV is the best way to spend the day! my go to sick day=movies and the couch too! with lots of fresh fruit and warm soup!
    I hope you feel better SOON!

  15. I wish I had today to do nothing… I’m supposed to be working. I’m not doing such a hot job at that though 🙂

  16. I wanna be sick today!

    Lol… If I’m really sick, I simply CAN’T do anything. It’s that annoying almost-well-but-probably-should-rest-a-little-longer part that makes me antsy.

    Hope you feel better soon. Love those PJs!

  17. I think she’s right about doing nothing … but I can’t do it. I’m always doing at least five things at once (watching TV, blogging, reading blogs, fixing a snack or thinking about fixing a snack). I’m one of those people who has the TV or radio on “just for the noise,” even if I’m not really paying attention.

    Glad to hear you’re feeling better. (Saw it on Twitter!)

    • Tina says:

      Yep! Still not 100% out of the woods but not as terrible feeling as when I woke up. Definitely going to keep resting.

  18. your posts never show up in my reader until at least 6 hours after you post! 🙁

    i usually rent some movies, drink a ton of water, and sleep all day when i don’t feel well! i wish i could magically make you feel better!

    and i totally agree with that quote as well…i like sitting and doing nothing for a time, but then i get anxious. makes it hard to really rest!

    • Tina says:

      Really?! Hmmm….that’s frustrating. I even have a plugin installed to push my posts through to readers immediately. What type of reader do you use? Bec Google is supposed to be PUSH compatible and mine always show up right away. Technology can be so annoying sometimes, huh? LOL

      • I feel like your posts don’t show up in my Reader until long after you’ve posted them too! I use Google.

        I also have trouble actually doing “nothing.” Indeed, I don’t know if doing nothing is even possible. Because even when I am DOING nothing I am still THINKING something. Perhaps doing nothing requires actually shutting off the brain entirely, but I’m not sure how to do that while still being awake!

  19. stacey heald says:

    Oh no! There must be a bug going around here because my girls and I have it too. Yuck! Hope you are able to relax today! Happy birthday a day late!

  20. Shira says:

    Tina, hope you feel better soon. Episodes of Friends always seem to help, don’t you think? This is my first visit to your blog and I really enjoyed reading your posts.:)

    When I’m sick, I revert back to being a kid and want to eat chicken soup with saltine crackers and drink gingerale. And stay in bed, reading, non-stop.

    • Tina says:

      Thanks for stopping by!! I’m glad you like it. I’ll be sure to visit your blog in a bit too. I love connecting with others through blogging. And Friends can never get old. 🙂

  21. Emily says:

    Blech. So sorry that you’re feeling so lucky. It seems like you’re doing a good job of staying cheery, though! 🙂

    When I’m sick, I definitely eat comfort foods and watch my favorite movies or shows. I also really like getting creative – coloring or drawing is always fun.

    Feel better soon!

  22. I’m great at doing nothing….for about 10 minutes. And then I feel antsy, like I SHOULD be doing something.

    The american curse—we could stand to learn a few things from e,p,l.

  23. I hope you feel better soon. I agree that there is a problem with not getting ice cream/frozen yogurt delivery! I don’t think we know how to do nothing, but I think we are brought up that way. It is go go go from the time we are born. I try not to do that to my kids, but we do it as adults. I am hoping for some nothing time in the near future. Feel better sweetie!

  24. I love Friends, too. It’s by far my favorite, although I really don’t watch it as much as I used to.

    My collection is two seasons short of being complete!

  25. Julie says:

    I have to watch movies…lots and lots of movies when I’m sick. Curl up in bed and just get lost in the movies.

    I wish I were better at doing nothing. I like the concept, but I tend to get a wandering mind when I’m doing nothing and sometimes that’s not great.

  26. homecookedem says:

    I’m so sorry you’re still not feeling well. So cute what M said about your pink pants! 😉 Guess I’ll have to wear pants with trains or cars on them to impress my little boy on day! 😉 When I’m not feeling well, I hate to say it, but I look to food for comfort. But not overeating, just comfort foods like hot soups, diet sprite, etc. I also like just cuddling up in a blanket and watching movies all day long. Hope you get to feeling better soon!!

  27. Becky says:

    I rarely do nothing, but I do enjoy quiet, relaxing activities. I have a hard time doing nothing.

    Hope you feel better soon!

  28. Aww I’m sorry to hear you’re still feeling ill! I usuall make sure I get tons of sleep, eat lots of soup and oranges, drink tea and water, and sometimes, if I have some around, take more vitamin c and echinacea – although I’m not sure it actually works.

    And doing nothing? I LOVE the idea, but just like in EPL, I have to agree that I’m really bad at it! Even if I’m sitting and appear to be doing nothing, I’ve usually got 10000 things running through my head. I think a little meditation might be a good thing for me to practice!

    Feel better soon! 🙂

  29. Awww, I’m sorry to see that you’re feeling worse today. Definitely listen to your body and rest.

    I have a hard time doing “nothing”. I tried to do just that yesterday, when I was home sick, but ended up at the grocery store, organizing the fridge and making a meatloaf. LOL. The thought of going to the gym crossed my mind, but I knew my limits, thankfully.

    Feel better soon!

  30. […] is the original post: FAITH, FITNESS, FUN » Blog Archive » doing nothing? Click here to visit WP Robot. Click here to visit AutoBlogged. Share and Enjoy: Posted in Fun […]

  31. Poop. Feel better soon, wouldja? But the pink jammie pants and all-you-can-eat yogurt smoothies ALMOST do make it worth it. 🙂
    To feel better I usually just lay in bed. I have a “little pillow” that’s made from two washcloths, my dad’s really old t-shirts, and yarn. Spending the day with that ALWAYS makes me feel better.
    And, as you prob’ly remember from my post about EPL, I have a VERY hard time doing nothing! I truly dislike it!

  32. Mark says:

    I don’t do illness well. I usually just like to crawl into a hole and wallow in self-pity. I rarely wear pink PJs though…

    As for the EPL quote. I can see a lot of truth in it, not just for America, but the Western world in general. We do like to be kept entertained, because we lead largely boring and unfulfilling lives. Lives that are dominated by the daily grind. It comes down to escapism and the ability to handle stress. Stress keeps us wired and unable to settle, which in turn makes us look for a way to use that “energy”. There is a very good reason why the media industry is a massive beast. It’s because we’re looking for sensory stimulation to distract us from the stressful, mind-numbing monotony. I bet you’re glad you asked :p

    Hope you feel better soon 🙂

    • Tina says:

      Hahaha! Yea, not sure pink pjs would be your style.

      And I’m really glad I asked. I love getting different perspectives on it all. Yours makes complete sense. You wouldn’t get that depth in pink pjs I bet. 😉

  33. Sarah says:

    When I’m sick I HAVE to take a nap. I usually not a napping kinda girl.
    About doing nothing…I’m not sure it’s possible to do absolutely NOTHING, but I have learned that there is value in sometimes turning off electronics (even computers!), turning off the tv, putting away the magazines, leaving the ipod at home, and just BEING…with thoughts and God and self and maybe completely being with someone if there is another person.

  34. janetha g. says:

    i love doing nothing. in fact, a couple saturdays ago, i woke up at 9, then proceeded to take TWO naps. it was glorious. i hope you are feeling better 🙂

  35. Doing nothing is the hardest thing in the world for me! I should be doing nothing right now and I’m having trouble stopping reading blogs and writing! Going to go work on that now… =)

    • Tina says:

      Well, I have to say I’m thankful you read mine. 😉 I have such a hard time stopping with blogs too. They suck you in because there are so many good ones. I definitely have my favorites I have to read…yours quickly joined that group.

  36. Lee says:

    I’m not good at doing nothing. I am, however, pretty decent at doing a million things at once.

  37. ashleigh says:

    I love sick days, but they go by too fast, and they aren’t enjoyable when you are wicked sick! I like to veg and watch tv and usually cook some homemade soup.

  38. Katie H. says:

    I definitely agree with that quote from Eat Pray Love. I don’t know about doing nothing but I definitely enjoy doing things that society may not deem productive (relaxing with a book) that I find incredibly fulfilling 🙂

  39. Love the To-Do list….wish it were mine! 🙂 Sorry you’re not feeling great.

  40. Doing nothing…I don’t think that is possible for me. I am also reading EPL and am on part 3. I have finally gottne over having background noise when I read but to do nothing – haven’t mastered that yet.

    I hope you get to feeling better. When i am sick I have to have movies, tv, my blanket, a good pillow, and a book/magazine. If my throat hurts then I need ice cream or frozen yogurt.

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