I love those “nothing” times. Recently my sister and I were just wandering around, doing nothing. We ended up peeking into the windows of an empty house that was for sale. It was at dusk and the lighting was questionable enough that we were half convinced that we would find someone peering out the window at us!
We unknowingly picked the busiest time of the weekend to explore a popular local venue. We proceeded to crash no less than three different weddings, hitting one of them twice in our failed attempts to get out of the area. I’m still convinced we appear in photos of all the weddings- these two middle-aged women (wait-what? maybe I should just say women of undetermined age) wearing masks (face masks for safety- not Halloween or superhero masks) in casual dress meandering in the background of every photo.
When the sun had fully set, we found out just how dark night can be on a street with no lights. Being avid readers of thrillers, we joked about how we were prime pickings for a serial killer on our way back home.
This was a different nothing than my post previously about nothing when I am busy all the time with nothing to show for it. Both nothings are so important. Everything can’t be about something. Sometimes it just has to be what it is.
A short note about the letter L day. There is a post but I have decided not to publish it. Have you ever written something and even though it seemed to flow and you were all in, when you sat with it, you just could not publish it? This is what happened with L, which stopped me in my tracks. I was already behind in the challenge and then this flipping post made me pause. I’ve given myself a kick in the butt and I’m ready to move on past the L post.
There’s nothing that fills my heart to the brim more than witnessing my grandson’s many acts of kindness. He inherited it from his dad, who is one of the most generous and giving people I know. Beej is seven years old and he’s teetering on the brink of being an almost big kid. He’s not a little kid but he’s still young. And that puts him dangerously close to the age when a kid can get snotty at times. They tend to lose that young innocence that’s so sweet. So far, Beej is as giving and kind as he has ever been.
He often shares his dessert with me or my husband. It’s interesting to see who is the grandparent of favor on any given day. (Most of the time it’s me. Not bragging. It’s just the way it is.) One day after breaking his cookie in half and giving me my share, he took a bite out of his half. My husband jokingly asked where his piece was. Beej split the remainder of his cookie in half and handed it to my husband, who began to protest. I shushed him because I knew that Beej’s gesture was sincere. Having solved that problem and ensuring his grandpa wasn’t feeling left out, he took another bite of his much smaller cookie. The piece that remained was squished between his thumb and a finger when Uncle Andy arrived home from work. Andy was unaware of anything that was going on. Beej looked at the slightly large crumble of cookie that he had left and with an almost imperceptible sigh, attempted to break it into two pieces. He set it on a napkin and placed it at his uncle’s place at the table. As Andy entered the room, Beej said, “I left you something by your plate.”
I added, “On the napkin,” sure that he would probably brush it off thinking it was a crumb. And to be fair, it was a crumb.
Andy thanked Beej for sharing his dessert, the side of his mouth twitching to hide a smile. Beej solemnly said he was welcome and asked if he was going to eat it now. He watched as his uncle ate the crumb, then asked if he liked it. Andy solemnly nodded and said he did.
He’s such a kind child. When we went to the library recently, he stepped forward to make the automatic doors open, then held out his hand motioning for me to proceed and said, “Ladies first.” My heart melted.
This is our Beej. So much like Pooh- being aware that even uncles that look and act like very large kids but are supposedly adults like dessert.
And herein lies the problem itself. There will be times when we encounter problems that need to be solved as we trek along our journey. But every step doesn’t need to be a problem. And it doesn’t need to be solved.
I’m still learning to live with this idea. Looking back I realize that I spent too much time fussing and worrying about something that should have just been left as it is and experienced. I’m in the middle of what can only be described as a maelstrom but if I force myself to step back and look at it, I can see that I just have to live it- not solve it.
I have a friend who will text me and ask what’s been going on in my life. When I tell her that my life is pretty boring, with nothing much to report, she never believes me. But it’s true. Ask me what’s happening in my kids’ lives? I’ve got lots to tell. But my own personal life? Well, if you read yesterday’s post you know that I huddled under a blanket with Beej looking at a projection on the “ceiling” of our hideout while listening to a story. That was it. Oh yes, and I had a meltdown over things I cannot control. That was fun- NOT- and totally unproductive.
I’m working on a few things- like stepping back to evaluate where my head is and what is bugging me. I’m pushing myself to write. I want to write. I know I want to write. I have words running through my head all the time and let me tell you, up there– I’ve written some really good stuff! Haha. I’m going to focus on the people and things that make me happy. I’m going to create. Whether it’s words, music, or art (and I use the word loosely), that’s when I’m most at peace. I’m going to do more enjoying and less worrying.
In other words- I’m going to experience my life. Thanks for the words of wisdom, Pooh!
Even nothing is something. Unfortunately Pooh, and sometimes we ourselves, are quick to attribute the smallest things to doing nothing. I’ve had plenty of days where I might not have booked hours of “did something” moments but looking back I can see that what I accomplished was even more important.
Sitting under a comforter with my grandson listening to stories and watching the projection of stars in the dark might not seem like much. And I’ll admit there were times when I wasn’t sure how I was going to stand up when the story ended because my left foot felt like a lead block. But huddled under that blanket sharing that time with Beej banked time where I was hopefully giving him a sense of security and stability that he would remember when things get rough.
From the outside, my last seven years might seem like a lot of doing nothing. I passed up working outside my home to help out with my grandsons and when Covid changed everything, it was a good thing I was home because there was no one else to handle remote learning while my son was at work. This wasn’t what I thought I would be doing at this stage of my life- a second round of raising kids- but in the beginning, I did it to help my son. And let’s be honest, the first time I looked into baby Beej’s eyes, I was hooked. I knew I would do whatever was needed for this little guy who is leaving little kid status at seven. Little did I know how much both he and his daddy would need me.
I’m finding ways to sneak some “somethings” into my nothing days. And on those days I appear to do nothing, it might look that way but I know the truth.
I was able to apply my parenting experience to my present-day activities.
My buddy and I have a stronger than the usual grandma/grandson bond.
I’m being tested in ways I never imagined and learning things about myself I didn’t know existed.
Nothing is possible. And it’s a good thing. A much needed thing from time to time.