Doing nothing at half term

So half term is nearly over. It’s been a strange time for me. I’ve really started to notice the ’empty nest’ syndrome. My eldest son left home 8 years ago, my middle one went off to university last year so I only have the youngest left at home. He is 18 now so he is out a lot of the time which leaves me on my own for quite a lot of the time. This is the first holiday where it has really hit home as I was on a retreat for the October half term and my two eldest sons were visiting in the Christmas holidays.

I will be honest I have felt a little depressed at time and very disorientated. How do I fill my days? Where do I find meaning now my caring role is changing? I suppose I could have filled my days with activities even had a drink or two. I will be honest I have not done very much, I did not read half the books I had intended to. Yet this morning I woke up feeling energised and inspired. These days so many things are diagnosed as illnesses and often the solution offered is to medicate. This could be a trip to the doctors for anti-depressants or maybe hitting the wine in the evenings. I used to drink most evenings but now I rarely touch the stuff. I have had a lot of challenges over the last year and one of the most important things I have learned is not to try and change things or wish they were otherwise. The more I accept the way things are the happier I become. I have also learned to recognise the things I can change, the most important one of these is my attitude. I always have a choice. I can be a victim or I can acknowledge that things may not be going exactly the way I want and see how I can change that. Sometimes you can’t. A death of a loved one, an illness, an accident – things happen to us all that are beyond our control. However we can choose how we respond.

If life does not appear to be going my way I have learned to stop blaming other people, the government or whatever. I look to see what I can do. Sometimes that is nothing and I have to accept that. However by doing nothing, giving myself space and being in the moment I find that if I give myself enough time inspiration and ideas will come eventually. Sometimes this happens very quickly, other times it may take days, weeks or even months depending on the situation. It can be very scary and difficult not to react but I have learned to trust that everything passes and I can become stronger from my experiences. This does not mean I have to be overly positive and pretend that everything is ok because sometimes it isn’t. That would be to deny the truth.

I am aware that it is not always possible to do nothing if you have demands on your time whether it be work commitments, family etc. However it is always possible to be in the moment, to stop multi-tasking and be fully immersed in whatever you are doing and giving people your full attention. You will be all the more productive for it.


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