Nothing

I didn’t know what to write about this month. I even had a break from other projects that gave me a little extra time to sit and figure it out, but all my ideas stayed filed under “maybe later.” To be honest, I really wanted that extra time to relax, so I did. After all, inspiration often strikes when I’m not looking for it. This time? Nope. So here I am, on the final day of May, writing about nothing.

Let me explain. Parenting has taught me a new level of tired. I am convinced, without any outside research and with only the evidence of my personal exhausted experience, being tired is the worst. It affects and brings down everything else. During our recent round of the newborn phase, I told my husband I was having memory problems. Yes, the looking for the glasses that are on my face moments, but also weird dreams. Not crazy, unrealistic scenarios, but believable situations, like of myself having a conversation with a friend. Later, I would struggle to know which in my memory were recollections of conversations I had in reality and what was only a dream. I am questioning my entire life right now.

Some days, I put off the tasks I know I have to do or even want to do because I am so tired. I assure myself I can do a better job after some rest, but later feel guilty, thinking that I accomplished nothing. While it may also improve my memory, I found a tool to help encourage myself that I never go through a day doing nothing.

In addition to the grocery and (attempts at) meal planning lists I keep in our kitchen is a dry erase ta-da list. The concept is instead of a traditional to-do list to write down the things you want or need to get done, you write down a list of the things you did that day. As someone who finds checking items off the to-do list satisfying, it’s even more so to write down all the things I do throughout the day. (As a mom, things like changing diapers, feeding kids, and taking a shower all count, sometimes as major accomplishments.) If I only get a small part of a project done or don’t get to it at all, at the end of the day my ta-da list shows it still wasn’t one where I did nothing.

I’m not sure where the idea came from that we must do all the things, but I disagree. For those who didn’t get to any of your to-do list today, this week, or this month, remember your ta-da list. Know that it’s good, even healthy to slow down, take a rest, and appreciate the “nothing” without the guilt.

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