The Joy of Doing Nothing

What I discovered on my summer vacation

The Joy of Doing Nothing

I usually have a whole list of things I want to see and do on vacation. Not this time...

I’m writing this blog from the house my family rented in York Harbor, Maine, for a mini-reunion. I usually have a whole list of things I want to see and do on vacation, especially if it’s a place I’ve never been. Not this time. The two weeks leading up to this vacation were jammed with deadlines and meetings and I didn’t get around to doing any research besides printing out driving directions from Google maps.

You know what? This has been one of the most relaxing vacations ever because I made no plans. I just get up and see what the day brings. There might be doggie playtime with Winky on the beach just down the street. Bennies from St. Joe’s Coffee (their take on beignets). My three-year-old niece’s color-coordinated outfits (she selects each piece, right down to her rubber band bracelets). A visit to Wiggly Bridge—the smallest suspension bridge in the world and so named because it wiggles when you’re walking across it. Grocery runs with my mom (no one can choose a watermelon like she can). Tickling my six-month-old niece and having her break out in big baby giggles. Lobster rolls, each one better than the last. Naps on the couch on the sun porch, where I can feel the ocean breeze. Baking in a kitchen big enough for everyone to hang out in. The view from the cliff walk above York Harbor Beach. Getting engrossed in a book I found on the shelves here (Jane Smiley’s novel Good Faith). Watching my dog chase my speedy nine-year-old nephew around the lawn (Winky needed a rest after that). The delicious dinners the guys cooked (my dad made steamed lobster, my brother Maine seafood omelets). Staying up late talking to my sister-in-law. Actually seeing the stars at night.

Who knew doing nothing could be so fun…and so fulfilling? I guess most of us live such overscheduled, overstressed lives that our minds and spirits need rest as much as our bodies do. Have you discovered the joy of doing nothing? I’d love to know how.


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