Yesterday as Brooklyn dug out from 20″ of snow still yet to be plowed (Hi Mayor Bloomberg! Over here! Waving furiously!) I enjoyed myself a bit of a snowday.
My sitter managed to make it over to play with the kids, and while I didn’t get that free day of shopping and pedicuring and gallivanting about in dry shoes as hoped, I did try to make the most of it within a three-block radius of my home.
I took myself to see Black Swan, which might be the first non-animated film I’ve seen in a theater all year. I described it on Twitter as (The Turning Point + Requiem for a Dream) x Carrie. Let’s just say if you want to laugh a lot, mostly at scenes that are supposed to be serious, this is the film for you! It also made me feel a little better about Thalia dropping out of ballet.
Of course I might have enjoyed it more had I not been forced to keep my winter coat and scarf on the entire time. Ah, indie theaters. So hip. So alternative. So freaking cold.
Beforehand the film, I had about 90 minutes to kill and so I trudged my way across the Snow Drift Formerly Known as Clark Street to the one open cafe, hoping they might have something edible (if a day-old) in the kitchen. They do make the best brie-apricot panini.
I worked on the Sunday Times puzzle. I checked the time. I checked my email. I skimmed an article. I stirred my coffee. I checked the time.
That’s when I realized I am horribly bad at doing nothing.
Other customers stared at the snow out the window, warming fingers on steaming cups of espresso. They looked happy.
I could stare out the window for a good five seconds before my mind started racing and my hands twitched with an uncomfortable idleness.
The puzzle was a break from the email. The email was a break from checking Twitter. The Twitter interrupted the cover article. The article was a break from the emails. And it was all just “killing time” before a movie, which really, maybe I shouldn’t be seeing at all, what with all the work there was back home for me; a dollhouse that needed assembly, a bedroom that demanded straightening, towels ready for a run through the wash, emails with exclamation points, cats with no food, and most importantly, two beautiful, costumed children waiting to perform their new dramatic interpretation of New Year’s Eve fireworks, complete with original music.
Maybe it just takes me longer for me to slow down on a holiday break, after moving at break-neck speed for so long. Or maybe I am just terrible at doing nothing.
I’m not so sure that’s healthy.
As New Year’s creeps up and we start thinking resolutions, I know I need to find more balance in my life. I need to put the laptop down more, delegate the dry cleaning, read a book for a change, let the dishes go–although I’m already pretty good at that. I need to make the time for the things I like to do and not the things I have to do. (Although it has crossed my mind that I actually find happiness in some twisted way, in completing a to-do list. I wonder what Gretchen Rubin would say about that.)
I know I need less multi-tasking and more single-tasking. And I definitely need more moments that don’t have anything to do with tasks at all.
I need to be better at doing nothing.
But that is so very, very hard for me.
Are there any parents good at doing nothing? Are you?