It’s Thursday night.  Mr. Husband is away.  The step-kids are at their mom’s. The Littlest is in bed. My squash house league is cancelled for the night. There is a storm raging outside supporting the fact that I couldn’t go out even if I wanted to. My house is a dishevelled disaster but all I want to do is curl up in front of a fire with chips, dip, a Dr. Pepper and Grey’s Anatomy. But I’m on the second last day of my cleanse and the McDoctors are having a McRepeat.

Isn’t that how it always goes? There are plenty of other ways that I could happily enjoy this free evening. I have several uncracked novels sitting beside my bed, including Joan Clark’s An Audience of Chairs, which I am really looking forward to reading. She is a Newfoundland writer and her novel, Latitudes of Melt, the story of a baby girl orphaned during the sinking of the Titanic and found by Newfoundland fishermen kept me hammock bound for a few extra hours last summer.

I have free time to work on my book which always gets short shrift on my to-do list. I have plenty of cards to write: congratulations, thank yous, get wells and condolences. I could work on my Dear Birth Mother letter that is necessary for the adoption process Mr. Husband and I are undergoing in the hopes of adding one more little to the brood. I could tackle the junk drawer in my dresser which I only like to play in when no one else is home so I can spread all my treasures out and find new homes for them without the masculine voice booming, "How could you possibly need all that crap?" I could take a long hot bath and not think about all the things I am not doing. But, because my perfect plan for my perfect evening home alone has been squelched by tv programmers and some ridiculous impulse to rid myself of toxins, I am paralyzed by indecision and haunted by the remains of Baby Humpback Whale birthday cake in my freezer. 

The cake, by the way, for those of you who are following these challenges, ultimately came from Baskin and Robbins in the form of a Disney pre-fab Shark Tale cake. The shark passed closely enough for a whale in the eyes of the discerning birthday girl and the blue icing left such brilliant semi-permanent designs on the tongues, teeth and lips of all who partook that it was declared a huge hit all the way around.

Free time, me time, is such a rare and priceless commodity, I hate when I squander it. I seem to be well on my way on the path tonight when the realization occurs to me that squandering is exactly what I’d like to do. It’s so seldom that I have time to waste that the thought of doing absolutely nothing is just as exciting as reliving my Can’t By Me Love days with Patrick Dempsey.

All those magazines designed just for my demographic have lists and pages and charts of how to create time for yourself and what lovely pampering things can be done at home once that time is found. But rarely do I read anything that says: It’s OK to do nothing.  Not even just nothing, absolutely nothing. So tonight, I am going to leave my house a mess, my cards unwritten, maybe even my books unread and do nothing. At this stage of the cleanse I can eat nothing, so I may just as well climb into bed, stare at a bunch of shows on television I have no interest in watching and do nothing while eating…nothing.

Just as soon as I shovel the driveway.

  • Amreen

    I totally relate! sometimes when i have a moment to myself, the options of what i could do are so overwhelmingly exciting, I get paralysed. Embracing the opportunity to do nothing is amazing.

  • ali

    tell us more about the dear birth mother story. i’m so intrigued by it all!!!

  • Heidi

    Hi Elizabeth, welcome to urban moms!!! Looking forward to hearing more about your family.
    I don’t feel so bad now seeing as other people are as busy, if not busier, than I am !!!

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