When there is nothing to do

There is nothing to do right now. I am on a planned stay-cation, probably for the first time in my adult life. My husband is out of town, my son has gone to a friend’s place for a sleepover, couple of work meetings that sneaked into the stay-cation are over, food is cooked, laundry is done, social media has been browsed. I have zero obligations for the next few hours and very few light activities planned in the next couple of days.

Do you know how this feels? It is hard to describe, this feeling. It is interesting. There is a mild satisfaction of being in that state where the busy, working mom stereotype is broken into pieces. There is an amusement that the stereotype is successfully broken by ‘doing nothing’. There is some longing to be with the family that’s away from me. All those vacation days I typically save and keep aside for family vacations are evaporating right in front of my eyes. The clock is ticking without me. The world is doing okay without my active involvement. Of course, there is no need to agonize over that for that’s actually not far from reality. There is a silence surrounding me that’s only interrupted by the keystrokes as I type on my laptop.

It’s a perfect opportunity to pick up a book, put some music on and dance, maybe learn something, do something. After all, my list of things that I would like to do is very much ready. It is tempting me and laughing at me. And yet, I don’t want to take any activity on. I am dismantling the very machinery of what separates my day from another, morning from afternoon and evening. I want to rebel by resting my mind. I don’t want to plan. I don’t want to introspect.

I really want to go nowhere nor do I want to restrain my mind from going in a particular direction. Let it wander and dwell in the past. Let it see all of me – as a child, then a teenager, a wife, a mother, a friend, a worker, a philosopher, an artist, a dreamer. Let it see all those years filled with joy, curiosity, anxiety, pain, surrender, and confidence. Let it just see the past because it can. Where is the need to figure out if the glass is half empty or half full when it’s always full with life? Let it imagine a future because it can. Let it paint it with bold strokes of desire, creativity, perseverance and smile. And if it’s done wandering around, let it come back here. It can then rest some more. I should stop typing now. Maybe close my eyes and lie down. But in this nothingness, will the eyes even open again? How? I will just have to wrap myself up in a conviction that I will get up and drink from that glass, no matter what it has to offer. Cheers. I am closing my eyes now.

Author: Prachi Sukhatankar

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