Sunday, July 23, 2017

My Week of Doing Nothing was Everything

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As soon as my boss approved my two month leave of absence from work, I knew one thing.  The first week of my leave was going to be a “Week of Nothing”.  No plans. No “I should do this”.  No time constraints.  I was planning nothing and doing whatever I wanted, or not doing anything at all.  There would be no arbitrary deadline I’ve set for myself.  All I have to say about this past week is this:  It was quite possibly the best week of my adult life.  It beats going to Hawaii all these years.  It beats all the times I planned my days/week off.  Planning nothing was the best thing ever.  It’s against everything I am as an adult, but it was wonderful.

I went to bed whenever I got tired.  Some days it was earlier.  Some days I stayed up to read books or watch TV.  I got up whenever.  I made breakfasts, along with my homemade cold brew coffee.

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Or I ate an ice cream bar for breakfast.  Because who says I can’t?

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Most mornings start off as you see in the first photo.  Breakfast, coffee, laptop for blog reading, with Noodle hanging out nearby.  It was tranquil, peaceful, and delightful.  By the second day of my leave, I ordered a few more pairs of pull-on drawstring lounge shorts from Amazon.  Because if I’m not going anywhere this summer, these super comfy sweat shorts are what I’m wearing at home.  My “loungiform”, ha!  And usually I feel bad if I haven’t changed out of them by noon.  Not this summer.  Them lounge shorts are what I am wearing when I’m at home.  Do you see a pattern here?  As an adult, I have set up some arbitrary rules for myself without even thinking they would cause me some sort of mental stress.  Why should I feel guilty or bad about wearing sweat shorts all day if I’m just going to be at home?  Why these rules???

I noticed a change even the first weekend (last weekend):  weekend time already felt different and slower. Usually even weekends are slightly stressful for me due to my long chore list of cleaning, organizing, vacuuming, laundry, groceries, etc. Since we could only do these things on the weekends, they become packed with unpleasant chores. But now that I can do these things on the weekdays, not getting all the laundry folded and put away on Saturday night is not stressful!  In fact, folding laundry on Monday morning was awesome!

The thing I noticed over and over again during the week was how much of my ongoing stress was pressure that I have put upon myself.  One morning I felt bad because I hadn’t exercised by 10am.  Who says I have to exercise and shower by a certain time?  I guess that’d be me.  I let it go. 

On Tuesday I went to the grocery store.  Pretty sure that the amount of joy & giddiness I got out of grocery shopping in the middle of the day was not normal. The good employees at Sprouts were probably thinking "weirdo lady in aisle 5 smiling to herself". If you live in SoCal then you would understand how rare it is for me to drive up to a store and have my pick of parking spaces. Then not having a line at checkout. I was seriously grinning ear to ear. The fact that I had chocolate and ice cream in my cart didn't hurt either!

Third day into my leave and I had no doubt whatsoever that this was EXACTLY what I needed. When was the last time that I did nothing in a day and did not feel guilty? I haven't felt this lack of pressure since… I don't even remember when. Why is it not ok to just be? If I'm at work I'm worried about all the things I haven't done that I need to do. If I'm watching TV I'm worried about the housework I haven't done. If I take naps I stressed about floors not vacuumed or bills not downloaded and paid. Let this be a lesson to me. I don't know how to change it yet, but I will be trying to figure it out for myself before I return to work in two months.

I did start adding things to the “Leave List” by Thursday though.  I think the first item I added was “Watch all the Matt Damon movies I haven't seen yet.”

I did leave the house a few times.

On Wednesday evening I was very excited to finally see Todd and his softball team play a game. I'm usually at work or just getting home. They won big and Todd hit, scored, and caught a flyball in the outfield. And I got to meet a few of his teammates. Fun!

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They won really big, like 20-3 or something.  They’ve never scored that much before.  The team captain told Todd that I was the good luck charm and I should go to every game! I said well for the rest of this season I can!  #listgirlonleave

On Thursday night we had a date night for Summer Chef Dinner at Rancho Bernardo Inn

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There was waaaaaay too much food, so we got to take a bunch home. 

Yellowfin tuna nori roll and Baja ceviche.

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Crab & chorizo slider and prime short rib.

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Grilled center cut ribeye and oysters rockefeller.

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Key lime cheesecake.

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I did eat the cheesecake, but brought most of the rest home and ate it for a couple more days!

We went out to lunch yesterday to a new place called Wakou Ramen & Yakitori

We had the carnitas bao bao.

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The black garlic ramen.

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And the chicken thighs yakitori.20170722-2017-07-22 13.11.25_blog

We liked it.  The bao baos were the best thing and we’ll definitely be eating that again.  Yum.

We had a bookstore date yesterday afternoon. 

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And I renewed my library card, while Todd got a new library card (he had used mine before).  Since it’s Comic Con week here in San Diego, we got special Comic Con International library cards!  These are the awesomest things ever and I’m so excited that we got the special library cards!

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And I played with my new glass dip pen and new fountain pen ink samples from Goulet Pens.  I had so much fun!

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This really was the best week ever.  It was everything I had hoped for and imagined.  Noodle also loved having me at home every day.  He has started a campaign to lobby for me becoming a SAHCM!

I’m starting to put together my Leave List and filling my calendar with some things.  I don’t think I will have seven more weeks like this past week, but hopefully they will be fun-filled and not so much pressure to accomplish something.  I will share more of my “plans” in the near future. 

I’m so thankful for this past week.  My week of doing nothing, was everything.


  1. So, so, so excited for you! And so proud of how you 'conquered' this past week. We 'type As' tend to create so many rules for ourselves...rules that steal joy. It is perfectly fine to do nothing, to sleep, to rest, to be quiet, to wear comfortable clothes, and to smile while grocery shopping (although, I haven't conquered this yet..hate that place. :D) Carry on, sweet friend! Can't wait to see wait this week holds...or doesn't hold :D

  2. This makes my heart happy for you and I love reading about your adventures! Those library cards are pretty much the best thing ever.

  3. I'm so glad you had a very successful "do nothing" week. Sounds like you got to do whatever whenever you wanted to and got to do nothing as well. :)

  4. "Why is it not ok to just be?"

    I want to find a way to do this too. Just be, and let all the pressure go. I loved reading about your do-nothing week. Also: SWOOOOOOOON on the library cards! :)

  5. All I can say is ohhhh yeaaaaa! Ps those library card are awesome

  6. Oh, that sounds just wonderful, and full of great insights. I hope your joy carries through the rest of the summer! (And yes, diggin' those cards!)

  7. I feel so relaxed just reading about your week.


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