Friday, September 4, 2009

Doing nothing may be something.

It's 11:30pm. The house is quiet. I've just been sitting here, enjoying the silence. Doing nothing really. I think it's been about an hour and a half, since everything shut down...except me. Over that period of time, I obviously just pretended to be busy, because it has just dawned on me that I've accomplished very little.

Now, I won't say that I've accomplished "nothing", because I don't think it has been completely un-productive. It's just that I haven't finished what I set out to do. Namely, write this blog. I did have some new ideas circling in my mind and I even opened some drafts that are in the works...but nothing was hitting. So, I fiddled around...typed a line, deleted a line, re-typed a line. If you've done any writing before you will absolutely understand what I'm talking about. It's a little frustrating.

But then...I realized I was doing nothing, and I started thinking about the fact that I was doing nothing. And just started to happen. I began to write about the nothingness that I had been experiencing. And voila! Here we are...with something.

Doing nothing is an interesting concept, because I'm not sure it is even a possible reality. When we stop (mentally, physically or socially) we are, in fact, re-charging. We may not be active at the time or even have a tangible product to present when it's over, but we were still being productive.

In fact, if one was to look at my day, as a whole, it would appear that I did "nothing". You see, I spent almost my entire day lying down on the floor, watching TV. Occasionally, I even shut my eyes for brief cat naps. I watched countless episodes of old cartoons and classic TV shows. The only times I got up was to grab something to snack on or take a washroom break. It was one very lazy day.

There were a lot of things I could have done...and should have done. But I didn't do them. I chose not to. I made a clear, conscious decision to just sit and watch TV. And, at times, I felt guilty about it. After all, my wife was off working hard at her job that she had been at since 6:00am, and here I was...just chillin', accomplishing nothing.

But, it wasn't true. It WAS a productive day. I actually DID do what needed to be done. I really did accomplish "something".

My seven year old boy had a real rough night. There's a little bug going around our home and he was next in line. He stumbled into my bedroom around 7:00am, not looking or sounding very well. At some point, later in the morning, he came to inform me, with eyes glazed and head drooping, that he'd be in the playroom, resting while watching TV. I brought him some water, got him settled and went back to my computer, so that I could start being productive. A few minutes later, Connor quietly appeared beside me. "Dad?", he said. "Can you bring your pillow and watch TV with me."

Only another parent can truly understand what happened inside me, when those words were uttered. My little boy, sick as can be, asking me to be with him. Although there was stuff to be "accomplished", I grabbed my pillow and a water for myself, and lay down on the floor beside him to watch the first episode, of many, of Hong Kong Phooey (the old Hanna Barbera cartoon). We were there all day. Sometimes he was asleep. Sometimes I was asleep. Occasionally we talked. And there was one moment where he showed me his Lego men, that he had been working so diligently on, over the last few days.

We got up to go for a walk at 8:00pm, to get some fresh air and stretch our legs, on which I ended up carrying him for portions of it. Then we came home to watch an episode of the A-Team before bed. He fell asleep, before it ended. His sister got his bed prepared and I put him in it. Goodnight, Connor.

Tomorrow, I will try to catch up on my work, finish the dishes and do some cleaning. The day will be a little busier than it would have been, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Days like today are precious opportunities. I can't afford to give my children a whole lot of cool toys and gadgets, but I can give them my time, which is ultimately what kids (or anybody, for that matter) really cherishes. I believe that strong relationships are formed in moments like these, so today...was an awesome day, and a productive one. I didn't do "nothing". I was there for my son. That's something. And, probably, worth more than I can even imagine.

I even have a blog entry to post. How about that!

Have a good one,


  1. Thanks for being the bestest dad there is! Love you. Give my grandson a big hug from me!

  2. i'd say you learned what it means to be a dad from our dad. I know all your kids love daddy times, just like we did.

  3. I once heard someone say, "rest is not idleness." I like that.

  4. Good on yah, and I know the feeling. Everything even mired in nothing suddenly becomes something.


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