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Five Days In The Abyss

Updated on November 29, 2010


It seems to me that there are many things in life to look forward to but the problem with looking forward to things is that once these things have happened you can’t help but have an opinion about the things you’ve just experienced. Maybe they’ve lived up to your expectations, maybe they didn’t, maybe something surprising happened or didn’t but still, once you’re on the other side of the anticipation of something happening I don’t see how you can’t look back and wonder what the hell just happened. (And if you’re me, you hear Peggy Lee in your head singing, “Is That All There Is?”) Such was the case of my recent experience of having five days off from work. Sure I thought there would be some lying around and the doing of the nothing but I had no idea just how I could make an Olympian effort in the sport of doing nothing. I’m certain even the judge from Germany would give me 10 for the lack of doing that took place. Five days in the abyss – Don’t Get Me Started!

I know that there are people unemployed and retired. I have no idea how these people stay sane. I’m like an out of date blender with only two speeds, pulse and puree. Either I’m only “pulsing” sort of like the earth spinning on its access where you can’t really feel it but you know it’s happening or there I am running around like a maniac on a speed akin to the Roadrunner’s feet when he’s running, looking simply like a whirring wheel beneath his body. Am I the only one who aspired to be Speedy Gonzales? So when I’m not scheduled beyond a minute of my allotted 1, 440 minutes in a day I find that I choose to just abstain from doing anything and that’s where the trouble begins.

This five days was going to be the “relaxation I needed” according to those close to me and those who tend to think that I need “down time.” These are terms I don’t really understand but I know that people say them and I nod my head as if I know what they’re talking about, sort of like when someone starts talking about baseball scores or where Canada is located. Still, it sort of takes the pressure off of you to have to accomplish anything. It’s sort of like when celebrities go to the hospital for “complete exhaustion” I don’t know that anyone who isn’t doing something like marathon coal shoveling can be “completely exhausted” but apparently being a performer allows you to use this excuse when the rider in your contract hasn’t been followed and there’s no Voss water at room temperature in your dressing room. I have never been nor will I ever be “completely exhausted” until I’m dead. Then I will have exhausted the life in my body and it will finally make sense to me how you can be completely exhausted.

The first day I allowed myself some quality couch and old movie watching. I even ate whenever I was hungry or bored. The next day was a holiday and the first time my spouse and I have ever spent the holiday just the two of us. We did nothing and then ate a huge dinner prepared by my spouse. Day three my spouse went out of town for business and as he had to be at the airport at 5am, I used this as an excuse to be so exhausted from getting up early that my “schedule” was “thrown off” and so all I could do was lounge about watching more television (including Sweet Home Alabama, another chick flick which I can now add to my list of movies that make me cry when I should know better). Day four I finally showered (did not shave my face however to see if I could grow a beard in case I ever wanted to grow one, I’ve discovered what I had always known, I can’t grow a beard nor should I ever have one on my face unless I’m in a production of Fiddler On The Roof) and I did manage to go out for about an hour and spend money on things I didn’t need that day so I resist calling this day a “complete loss.” Finally day five was upon me, that day that I had thought at the start of the five days would be unwelcomed as it was the end of my mini-staycation (or whatever they’re calling it on Twitter these days) instead this day was just more of the same…a bunch of nothing.

So here I am at the end of five days of nothing and while I occasionally looked to see what my pals were doing on Facebook or texted holiday greetings to friends who were both near and far (physically and emotionally) I find myself eager to get back to something, anything that doesn’t involve me. I’m a caregiver by nature so I need to be needed and even if it’s just to answer the phone or an email, I need to get back to it. That’s when I feel alive. Not when I’m looking at a sunrise, not when I’m being quiet considering my life and it’s amazing or lack of possibilities but when I’m part of the human race. So while I know there are many people who adore the doing of nothing, I am not one of them nor will I ever be. No, I need to have something to do, somewhere to go because I’ve always been good at meeting a deadline but never been good when I have all the time in the world to do something. I don’t want to do things at a “normal” pace, I want to get off pulse and get back to puree where I belong! Five days in the abyss – Don’t Get Me Started!

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