Doing Nothing Days

By Alison April 13, 2011 8 Comments 2 Min Read

I am the worst boss I have ever had. And ok, so I haven’t got many to compare to as I have only ever had two bosses in my life and one of them was my Dad, but seriously, I am a bad, mean, pushy, slave-driving old bitch of a boss and if it weren’t for the fact that I have no choice, I wouldn’t work for me. Not without union support anyway.
Take today. All is quiet here. Though the sky is a solemn shade of grey I have hung out the washing and watered the plants regardless. In the kitchen a rich, garlicky onion soup is bubbling and squeaking on the hob, and last night my little boy was spirited away by his Daddy so Mommy could work.
Trouble is Mommy doesn’t feel like working. Mommy’s bones are aching and what she really wants is to take a long violet scented bath, rub peppermint oil into her feet and sit perched on top of her freshly made bed, smiling at the pretty,  floral centre of this little old blogging life that is her desk and otherwise completely and utterly ignoring it.
Oh yes, this here Mommy wants to take a day off. Not just from work, but kinda from her whole life.
I want to STOP. I want to let myself waste time. I want to sit here and do absolutely nothing even remotely productive and feel that it is ok: that doing nothing at all doesn’t make me a bad person (I live in fear of being my own idea of a bad person). That I will not have to issue myself a written warning should I fail to write that newsletter, update the sidebar or post something that makes my darling audience tingle with recognition.
I want to pull the plug out of the washing machine. Fear not the disappointed stare of the ironing basket. Fail to bother the vacuum for a single day. Potter not putter. Drift. Languish. Lounge.
We women get tired don’t we? Last week Kath and I dreamt of being admitted to the kind of hospital designed to banish exhaustion. A place where other women laid soothing hands upon our battered souls and spoon fed us soup and poetry. A place where the air was scented with orange blossom, warm baths were run for us, and pillows puffed to just the right degree of fluff. A place where no-one called us Mummy. A place of respite from ourselves.
But in lieu of such a place I am writing this instead. Speaking the words out loud. Hearing how ridiculous it is to deprive myself of these small freedoms, on a day like this, when I am answerable to no-one but myself. Giving myself permission to push my feet into apricot coloured flip-flops and wander down the lane to nowhere in particular. To come home and fill the house with the soft pink glow of lamp-light, sprinkle blue cheese on to home-made croutons for the onion soup,  and read The Solitary Summer all over again, because Elizabeth Von Armin was a woman terribly good at granting herself the freedom to step outside her life and be who she needed to be at any given moment. Despite her Darling Man of Wrath.
Drift. Languish. Lounge. Because some days we have no choice but to stitch ourselves back together with nothingness.
Today is that day.


  1. phyllis says:

    Lord, send a private island!

  2. Gena says:

    I feel exactly the same today! mountains of work to catch up on,letters to post,ironing pile falling over and yet here i sit laptop on knee watching loose women whilst eating a frozen weightwatchers meal! maybe its the weather or the fact I spotted four more grey hairs this morning,I too like the idea of that hospital! a sort of priory for bewildered housewives!xx

  3. Ali H. says:

    You've summed it up nicely. I don't seem able to have a "duvet" day. I feel like it's time wasted if I don't spend my day(s) off work, rushing around being the Good Housekeeper/Organizer/Social Secretary. Gah! How does one disable the social conditioning that says your a lazy tart if you need to shut the World off once in a while.

  4. Ali H. says:

    Whupsie. My blog link wasn't correct. Have now corrected. Sorry bout that folks.

  5. Ali H. says:

    Whupsie. My blog link wasn't correct. Have now corrected. Sorry bout that folks.

  6. Debbi says:

    A couple of days ago, I woke feeling kind of not exactly ill, but not the opposite either, and soo tired. . . and so quiet, that my husband was prompted to ask what was the matter? {more than once}
    After staring into the ceiling for an hour or so, I found the comfy-est garden chair thay we have, an afghan, my camera, a butterfly book, hot tea and Freckles. {Do you remember Freckles, Alison? Have you read it?} Settled myself where I could scentof the blooming freesias drifted . . . { . . . Earthly delights} . . . positioned where I faced the masses of miniature yellow rose blossoms covering an arbor, and set about the task of taking a day off. My husband {who wasn't taking his day off, off} . . . was tiling the upstairs bath . . . called out the window to me that he might need me to run to the hardware store.
    My reply was a rather pitiful "Right now?" and told him he should look out the window. He spotted me all snuggled in, laughed and said he wouldn't think of interrupting my rest. Sometimes, Momma just needs a day off, without guilt. It's okay. I give you permission. 🙂

  7. A little secret….sometimes when I feel a cold coming on (nothing serious, just a cold), I'm happy because then I'll have an excuse to lie down, read, drink tea (or even wine!)….

  8. Bluebell says:

    My mum says; " time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time."
    Then she runs around as usual…

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