Today is National Nothing Day. It’s purpose is to give Americans one day to sit and do nothing. No festivities, no celebrating, just nothing. The day was established in 1972 and it begs the question: what was all of this happiness causing so many celebrations that this became a necessity?
Is it merely my Pandemic mind that cannot comprehend this? I mean, I personally have reached the point of this non-choose-your-own-adventure where I am ready for a DO SOMETHING day. When is that on the calendar?
And I say that as I stare ahead at a very busy weekend. Busy weekends, anymore, usually revolve around some form of Zoom (as in the case of my weekend) or other video conferencing services. While I am so grateful this insanity hit when we had such luxuries, I’m also ready for a really brilliant outdoor music festival.
I’m itching to watch a live musical.
I long to host a dinner party where conversation flows with ease.
I’m ready to meet friends for drinks and laugh, without the conversation always coming back to the death toll, or crazy D.C. developments.
What even is nothing anymore? While we live in it, are we wasting it?
The busyness of normal life used to leave me craving a Nothing Day, and now I have more of them than not. Perhaps the beauty of nothing is when the mere idea of it is the unicorn within our crazy normal…
And about that: crazy normal. Do we really want that back?
I remember sitting in a ladies networking luncheon a few years back, and a woman mentioned all of these ideas she had for someday. She was the guest of a colleague, and though excited for the someday dreams, she admitted she couldn’t possibly do anything as long as her kids were home. On Mondays there was soccer. Tuesdays the school paper to help with. Wednesdays her son had Karate, and Thursdays her daughter dance. She was on the PTA, she was a room mom. She was clocking nearly 200 volunteer hours a month, all revolving around her kids school/activities/interests. She admitted she hadn’t had an actual conversation with her husband since her kids had been in elementary school, unless it was about her kids. (who, at this point were in 7th and 9th grades.)
“We chose to be parents”, she said. “When they are grown, we will have all the time in the world.”
I wonder how she is.
What it has been like for her, in the nothing.
We were, so many of us, so busy going just so that we could avoid the hard things… and now, now we are stuck on the carousel of hard things, with nothing else in sight.
I am so eager for the someday things, that may return. When they do, they’ll be different.
We’ll be different.
I am different.
Even though I deeply miss such things, I don’t want to waste the nothing either.
On National Nothing Day, I’ll be navigating my way through my busiest Saturday in January. I’m ok with that. I want to believe there is magic in the nothing. There must be something they knew, back in 1972, that we’ve lost sight of, along the way. To honor the day I plan on not celebrating, as this is what the day was made for. I also plan on deep breathing in the peace that comes with nothing.
I will not stress today, about all of these hard-dark things beyond my control.