Saturday, August 20, 2016

     














     

     Sometimes I just have nothing to say. Men, listen up, yes, a woman said this. You might think to yourselves, “Yeah, right. That will be the day that a woman has nothing to say.” I know. I know. But it’s true. Today, I have nothing to contribute to entertain or to improve anyone’s outlook on anything. Today, I just am. It’s part of my “to be” goal. 

      Last night, we went to a neighborhood gathering. As we are the new kids on the block, I was curious as to what our neighbors would be like and what they would talk about. I asked one man, “What do you do to entertain yourself?” This is a safe question to ask a man, as, invariably, his answer will be in short syllables, not in a long detailed account like many women. The man said, “I do nothing.” Well, if that didn’t shut me down, I don’t know what would have, but I persevered. Instead of asking another question, I just stood there staring at him. He fidgeted a bit, and then went on to say he took care of his pool and played some golf. That was his definition of “nothing.”

      I asked another woman the same question. She said she belongs to five clubs. These were all women’s clubs. Can you imagine the number of syllables she hears every week. Oh, my. I love my female friends, and I can keep up with the most gregarious, but five women’s clubs. I don’t think so.

     In the 11 years since I retired, I have been sensitive to those who say, “I don’t know how I had time to work. I’m so busy.” Well, I spent the first 50 years of my life being so busy I didn’t have time to think, and certainly there was no rose-smelling along the way. One day I woke up, and I decided to stop running everywhere, rushing from this to that, always in a hurry, always stressed. It was time to slow down, feel, smell, reflect—time to give myself permission to be bored. I did this, and I will never go back. Au contraire, I have gone through periods where I was actually “bored.” “Bored” for me, most of my friends know, is not having anything exciting to do. Sometimes this boredom caused me serious anxiety, so that wasn’t a good option for me either. I strive, therefore, for balance—time to do exciting things, time to be responsible, and time to “be.” Yes, I have “to do” lists, but no, I’m rarely in a hurry, I always have time to sit by the pool and read my book, and, almost always, I save time for my delicious nap. Am I saying everyone should live like this? Of course not. We must all do what’s right for us. So if ‘nothing” is on your agenda on a daily basis, I say knock yourself out.

     Do you ask people what they do with their spare time? Do you have spare time? For what do you always make time? Do you ever get bored? Does that make you anxious? Do you wonder why people like me spend time in the wee hours of the morning coming up with questions like this? 

     Men:  You knew I had something to say, didn’t you?