Tuesday, January 12, 2016

A Blog About Nothing

Upon arriving home from work this evening, I had an overwhelming urge to write a blog post. I don't know why really. I obviously enjoy writing...hence the reason I have a blog in the first place. For some reason though, I just really felt like writing something. The only problem was that I had no topic burning a hole in my head. That's actually strange for me since I am typically more likely to have trouble concentrating on something else with all the ideas bouncing around in my head. I won't say they're all good ideas, but they're almost always there. You bloggers out there understand what I'm saying.

So here I was with an urge to write and no idea what I would write about. As I often do when I can't make a decision on what to write about, I turned to my daughters for advice. My youngest daughter in this case. A five year old is always good for an idea or two. With this in mind, I asked my daughter Siri what I should write about. Her response: "Nothing."

I realize of course that what she meant was don't write anything. She was too intent on the Lego castle we were building at the time to allow me to get distracted by possible blog topics. Little did she know, her idea was brilliant. The first time in months that I have "nothing" to write about, ask for suggestions, and my daughter says "nothing." She is wise beyond her years.

Nothing to my daughters
My daughters, just like there father when he was a kid, have a terrible habit of saying there's "nothing" to do. Well, nothing means just as much as it did 35 years ago. There are no games to play like hide and seek, cards, board games or video games. There's nothing to watch like Netflix, DVD's, YouTube videos or even good old fashioned television. There are no creative things to do like coloring with crayons, markers and colored pencils. There certainly aren't any watercolors, stationary crafts kits or a drawer full of construction paper and stickers. There are no toys to play with like dolls, stuffed animals, Legos, a pile of My Little Ponies, dress-up costumes or puzzles. There certainly isn't anything to read around the house like the 1324 books and 142 magazines. In a nutshell, there's nothing to do.

Nothing to my wife
On the rare occasion you find my wife "daydreaming" and ask her what she's thinking about, she'll say "nothing." Just like with every other wife and mother out there, this can easily be explained in one sentence. She's not thinking about anything except the next laundry load, having to go shopping because the girls are outgrowing their clothes, planning the next week's worth of meals and the grocery shopping trip needed to make those meals, wondering why her kids appear to be bi-polar, why her husband can't seem to see the basket of clean laundry to fold, wondering if she's a good mother and wife, wondering if her socks match today, trying to remember when the last time was that she actually got to buy new socks for herself, trying to remember what book that was she started reading about five months ago and then wondering why she allowed herself to sit there and think all this for two whole minutes when there's so much cleaning that needs to be done.

Nothing to the family
Monday mornings at work, you'll often hear the same conversation over and over. It usually goes something like, "What did you do this weekend?" Followed by "Nothing." I'm guilty of this myself. The part I can't figure out is if I did nothing all weekend, how did it go so fast? Nothing on our weekend often involves a Friday night family movie night. Saturday morning starts bright and early because why would the girls want to sleep in on Saturday after having to be dragged out of bed each of the previous five school days? Following a morning of breakfast, tv, playing games and chasing each other around the house, we then move on to the next "nothing." Depending on the time of year, there's always some form of housework to be done inside and out. There are trips to the library, the grocery store and a handful of other retailers in town. There are many trips to the park and pool in the summer and sledding down the hill in our backyard in the winter. Sundays involve church, Sunday school, daddy-daughter donut day and more park dates, play time and fun. Add to the mix any and every possible friend and family get-together and you have a weekend full of nothing.

Nothing to me
I'm pretty sure I am the only one in our family who understands what "nothing" means. When you find me sprawled out on the couch mindlessly watching whatever tv series I'm currently hooked on via Netflix and ask me what I'm doing, I can honestly say "nothing." If you don't believe me, you can ask my wife. I am quite capable of doing absolutely nothing when I put my mind to it. Actually...I don't really have to give it that much thought. It comes naturally. It's a gift.

Nothing is so tiring
Just like with everything else in our lives today, "nothing" has gotten quite complex. In our fast moving, constant data stream world, we're never doing nothing. Right this minute, I am typing away on my computer while half watching "Making a Murderer" on Netflix and thinking about what I need to get done at work tomorrow. (Now you know why my blogs balance on that mediocre-to-average line.)

Think about it next time someone asks you what you're thinking or what you did last night or last weekend. Be careful though, you might find yourself feeling quite exhausted when you start to realize just how much you really do. I think that's why everyone is always lobbying to get a few more hours put in the day. I personally like my wife's idea of doing mini-retirements before you retire. A nice little three month break every few years to let you catch up on stuff. That's something to think about. Let me know if you start a petition for that. I'll sign it. Until next time....