The Joy of Doing Nothing



As I mentioned in my post on Monday, we’ve been hit by the inevitable end-of-winter illness the last couple of weeks. First poor Freddie was ill with a nasty viral sick bug, which led on to a double bacterial ear infection, so he was knocked out for a whole seven days. Then Adam and Sasha succumbed to a marginally less severe version of the virus, but it still meant they were wiped out for the best part of the following week. Me? I was last woman standing and managed to escape the worst of it.

Anyway, enough of the gory details of our family vom-bug. But what it did mean, is that we spent pretty much the whole two weeks at home, bar a couple of emergency doctors visits/supermarket dashes. And you know what? Whilst I was craving adult company just a teeny bit, it actually wasn’t that bad. It felt rather good. Granted, looking after poorly children and wishing you could take their place isn’t fun. Plus watching The Jungle Book for what felt like a million times will inevitably have you reaching for the wine quicker than ever. But for once it was rather nice to just ‘be’. Since preschool was out of the equation, we didn’t have to be anywhere on time. No mad dash in the morning to get everyone ready. For most of that first week when F was sick, we cuddled a lot on the sofa (THANK GOD Sasha is so good at pottering about and entertaining herself), bummed around the house playing/crafting (when we felt like it), and spent a bit of time in the garden for fresh air.

The same routine occurred when Adam and S were poorly the following week, albeit I was a little more in demand as the only well person in the house. Whilst I was concerned about the kids (and Adam, natch), I actually felt relaxed, as I knew there were no external expectations. My family was sick, so being at home with them was all that was important, and all I had to contend with. An odd thought for me, as a person who is ALWAYS occupied, and if I think i’m not, i’m quite capable of finding numerous things to fill my time with. In short, I often make work for myself, and am probably conditioned to make myself ‘busy’, and dash about from place to place ‘doing’. It certainly does me good to get out of this mindset every now and again, slow down and breathe. And I think it’s a good example to set Freddie and Sasha. Life is busy as it is, and whilst they do a fair few activities/playdates/trips each week (and they enjoy them), it’s also good for them to be ‘bored’, and to unwind, whilst being happy to potter about the place.

The reason for writing this is that I came across a newspaper article the other day that featured the Italian phrase ‘Dolce Far Niente’, which translated means The sweetness of doing nothing, and it really got me thinking. It means slowing down, taking everything in, and just ‘being’. No rush to do anything. Which is clearly something I need to remember more often.

We spend so much time ‘plugged in’, and feeling like we have to be DOING all the time, that we forget that there is actually nothing wrong with just BEING, and not actually ACHIEVING something constantly. This is one element of our society that is pretty messed up. The success of our day is measured by personal ‘achievement’, and not by what actually makes us happy. It’s ok just to slob about in your pyjamas for the day once in a while. It’s ok to sit around just watching TV,  reading to your children, playing trains, or shops, without ‘checking in’ with the outside world, or thinking what you have to do next, hard as it often is. I realised the last couple of weeks that the world doesn’t stop turning. People are still there for you, when you’re ‘back in action’.

The same shit is still happening outside of your house.

You’re just thankfully not aware of it.

This post links up to ‘Honest Mum’ blog’s ‘Brilliant Blog Posts’! 



  1. Le Coin de Mel
    April 3, 2014 / 11:06 pm

    So true, a bug is sometimes easier to deal with than trying to get everything done! Mel #Brillblogposts

    • April 4, 2014 / 6:42 am

      Yup- never thought I’d say that!

  2. April 4, 2014 / 10:25 am

    Hope your little ones are feeling better now. Would absolutely love to do nothing too 🙂 You’re absolutely right, doing nothing is perfectly fine. The world outside won’t stop from revolving if we just slow down and do nothing every now and then 🙂 #BrilliantBlogPosts.

    • April 4, 2014 / 1:25 pm

      They’re much better now, thank you 🙂 I think we could all benefit from slowing down a bit, the world is in such a rush, all the time it seems!

  3. Honest Mum
    April 8, 2014 / 8:47 pm

    LOVE this post and you are so right, we are all in such a rush but taking time to just BE is so important-for health and happiness, thanks for reminding me of that (and linking up of course) xx

    • April 8, 2014 / 9:12 pm

      Thanks Vicki, think we all need to just ‘be’ probably more than we actually end up doing x