A curious thing happened to me the other night. Kind of out of the blue I got a call from a friend I hadn’t spoken to for some time. While it wasn’t one of those “blasts” from 40 years ago, it had been at least a couple of months since we last spoke so it was good to hear from her. But it wasn’t the call itself that was surprising. I mean it started out pretty ordinary what with catching up on her kids and my kids and a few other people’s kids too, but you don’t want to know about that. The curious part was when, without any prompting on my end (I wasn’t out of breath or talking fast or anything like that which I have been known to do when I want a conversation to end), she said:
My Friend: I’ve probably caught you on your way out the door.
Me: Nope. I’m not going anywhere right now.
My Friend: Oh, well you must be busy with stuff at home.
Me: Nope. I’m not really busy right now. As a matter of fact, I’m not doing anything at the moment.
My Friend: Oh, well this must be a first for you.
Now she couldn’t see me, but if she had I’m pretty sure she would have noticed the look of puzzlement on my face because, truth be told (I know, I say that a lot but shallow people never back away from the truth) there are many, many times that I am not going anywhere or doing anything in particular. As a matter of fact, I do nothing quite a lot of the time. And as a shallow person, I’m okay with that because doing nothing is not always a bad thing. Like when I call my Mother and ask her “what’s doing” and she says “nothing’s doing” which is often better than “something’s doing” ‘cause that “something” is not always so great when you’re 97 years old. So I come by all of this honestly. Which is why I spend much of my time at home sitting in my comfy chair in my study doing not much of anything unlike the cat who, making no distinction between the chair and the multitude of cardboard scratching posts we have strategically placed around the house for her convenience, is always busy doing something when she visits me at my chair, which again, is not such a good thing.
Now ordinarily I would be fine leaving you with this impression of me in my leisure time but as an honest shallow person who is somewhat reflective and introspective I find myself wanting to explain that, just because I am in my chair appearing to do nothing, doesn’t necessarily mean I’m not doing something. Sometimes that something is reading a book, or finding valuable information on the internet like how much the house down the street sold for or whether I’ve lost a lot or a little in the stock market on any given day. Sometimes I plan whole vacations, booking hotels, airline tickets, making dinner reservations and arranging for sightseeing tours in my temporary home away from home and, believe me, that can be exhausting. Of late, much of my time spent in my chair has been devoted to attending my class at Harvard (have I mentioned I’m going to Harvard?) listening to lectures, reading excerpts from books and engaging in dialogue with my fellow students. Well I don’t really “engage” but I do read what some of them have to say. And I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that taking a course at Harvard is no walk in the park. Other times I’m just thinking about things which makes it really look as though I’m doing nothing but I’m not. I will admit that I am also prone to a couple of less lofty activities like watching reality TV shows or playing computer games, but those are things too. And, last but not least, I sit in my chair to write this blog which, I might add, I have stuck to for almost a year now and that’s really something.
Well now that I’ve got this one in the bag I should get back to what I was doing before I started writing which really was nothing and, now that I’m thinking about it, I don’t even have to go anywhere to do it.