Doing Nothing Is Actually Something

I’ve had a great life. I don’t let things stress me out too much. I didn’t struggle in school and I’ve never had pressure to get a job. Often times, my friends would question my lifestyle, not able to comprehend it’s luxury. So wait, what do you do all day? I would get asked during summer vacation. You don’t have a job? Do you ever get bored?

I can’t explain to you the amount of people that would ask me these questions. Adults, teenagers, even the kids I babysat knew something was weird. I thought you were a grown-up. Grownups have jobs. Grownups also don’t have to babysit children, but look, here I am.

I would try to come up with things in my head, spitting out unimportant errands that I ran, trying to prove that I was doing something of worth while I wasn’t working. I put pressure on myself. Come on, sound impressive. Make excuses. Say you applied for jobs but no one was hiring. Something. ANYTHING.

I felt embarrassed to have free time. Any time I relaxed I felt a pang of guilt. People my age were on their feet working and I was tanning outside and then taking a nap.

However, in my mind, the embarrassment of being unemployed wasn’t half as bad as actually being employed. Trying to come up with activities that I did during the day surely wasn’t as painful as having to be somewhere and do work.

I never could understand the people who would work all day and then go out with their friends afterwards. Where is their energy coming from? Why are these people punishing themselves? But that’s how everyone was. No one had a similar situation to mine.

Moving to Canada kept me in the same situation. I didn’t have a work visa so I couldn’t actually get a proper job. I still volunteer twice a week and babysit occasionally, but I have lots of free time. Time to read and go online and play video games. Time to go on walks and bake and window shop. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but I don’t think I’m wasting my life by enjoying myself. I’m just one of the lucky ones. I’m no longer going to feel embarrassed for having something that people wished they had.


32 thoughts on “Doing Nothing Is Actually Something

  1. I don’t work. I write my blog…the end. That to do list picture had me laughing. You totally get me. It has been officially 11 years since I was employed for pay. I lunch. I write. I go to movies. I sleep in. I have fun.

    Then I get the comments. You pay someone to clean and you don’t work? Yep….what are you going to do about it.

    You pay someone to do your yard work and you don’t work? Yep…but I will be happy to not pay you to do it.

    It is rude of them. So us ladies who lunch, we need to stick together.


    • I was praying that someone who read this would understand. So glad it’s you! You have the attitude that I should’ve had a while ago. The attitude I was afraid to have. Good for you girl! If I had enough money to pay someone to clean my apartment, I surely would! xx

  2. I’m not sure if some people realize how much more boring a job is when compared to doing nothing. I didn’t have a job until I was 17 and it’s pretty much sucked ever since. I like my job, but I could get a lot more done if I didn’t have it. I used to watch Wimbledon and read, during the day. These are boring things, but way better than having to sit in front of a computer.

    • That makes me feel better! See, I always thought I would like having a job that was boring or at least what other people thought was boring. Because boring = easy in my mind. I feel like I wouldn’t like being online if I had to sit in front of a computer all day. Maybe that’s why people like to be active after work?

      • Brother Jon says:

        Well, I could be online all day, but I would get fired. I actually rush home so I can log in a check stuff out. But it is nice to leave work and be outside.

  3. Hahaha! I’m reading this on the tail end of marveling at myself whirling around here like a fool, busy busy busy. Even if I didn’t have to work I’d be whirling around like this. It’s just me. In addition to being called Tasmanian Devil, I’ve been called a human doing (instead of a human being). My cousin teased about my stride when I walk, leaning forward, holding my pocket book back, forging ahead on a mission. Hahaha!

    At least you’re grateful for your situation and appreciate it! I think there are a few of us out here who’d find something in that situation to complain about.

    My sister is married with two boys. She doesn’t work but is taking graduate classes online. A friend criticized her for being a kept woman or something like that. My sister is hardly that — she works very hard at home. I’m sure you do your part. It’s great you’re doing volunteer work. I admire that.

    • We’re so similar yet so different. You probably get so much stuff done during the day. I envy you for that. I love all of your little nicknames and how people make fun of you. So funny!
      I think your sister has one of the hardest jobs ever. That’s why I’m putting off kids of my own. I realize how much work it is and how selfless you have to be. I’m not ready for that time yet! I’m sure it will be a shock to my system though. I can’t believe people criticized your sister about not working. That’s so wrong.
      Thanks for admiring the little bit that I do. You’re too nice. πŸ™‚

    • I have the same forceful stride. I’m fast and on a mission. People actually remark on it. I’m like ten feet ahead of the people that I’m supposed to be walking with. Leaning forward, etc. that’s me, too! I have a Chinese astrology book about Tiger women and it’s so accurate that it scares me. This is definitely part of it. The name of the book is “The New Chinese Astrology” by Suzanne White. Read pages 88 to 107. It’s spooky how closely it describes us. Sandee, you and I are both Water Tigers. Pay specific attention to the section called “The Lady is a Tiger.” Just go to a book store, grab a coffee or tea, and read it it there. You’ll get a kick out of it. It’s VERY specific.

  4. unfetteredbs says:

    It is nice that you realize you are lucky. We did not make my daughter really work til the last half of her senior year(a brief job)–everyone needs time to relax and “be” that is more important than running around like a bunch of workaholics that some of us(me) become. My daughter is developing a strong sense of self because of it and you sound like you do as well. As a parent, I am f@#king happy as a damn clam I was and am able to provide that for my kids. She does have to work a litte but she is learning that there is much more to life than work work work and being tired all the time.
    babbling away here…

    • unfetteredbs says:

      ps — what video games do you play and do you watch cartoons? You referenced the SpongeMan himself… perhaps you partake in some good toons as well? If not then you really should add that to your daily routine. We are big fans of The Regular Show- I highly recommend it. πŸ™‚

      • I loveee video games. But I am a super 90’s child at heart so I mostly play games on N64. Basically ANY games for that system. And I play a lot of wii. And I played World of Warcraft on my computer just to make certain that I was a loser. (I was) As for cartoons, again, 90’s are my faves, but I like mostly anything and everything. Totes Spongebob. I’ve never heard of the regular show though! I’ll check it out for sure!

    • I definitely think everyone should get a taste of work sometime during their teenage years. That was a good thing to urge your daughter to get a job. I always just babysat. Sometimes I cleaned people’s houses or something like that. But I would just pretend that I was cleaning my own house so I wouldn’t be that bad. Hah! I think it’s great that your daughter has balance in her life. There is definitely a time for work and a time for relaxing!

  5. I work in education and therefore have time away from work each summer. This year was the first year that I didn’t have children at home, keeping me busy or at least to a loose schedule. I kept saying I’d see how it went and then decide about getting a summer job.

    Well, forget that. I loved it. I loved being able to be focused on me, there’s no other way to put it. I did what I wanted, went places that interested me, got into cycling cause I had time….No regrets.

    When I stayed home with my children, I stayed home with my children – I did not keep a spotless home, I kept a child centred home. We played together, we did activities together, we laid in the backyard looking at clouds together. No regrets.

    Live your life for you. You’re not hurting anyone, you’re living. If anyone has a problem, they need to get a life cause you’re busy living yours.

    • My mom always tells my brother and I, “If you want a great job, you should become a teacher!” And basically “great” part of the job is the fact that you get so many awesome vacations.
      It would be such a nice change of pace to relax during the summer after going to school everyday. Sounds awesome. And I always liked school, so I bet I would like working in a school setting! What do you teach?
      You sound like a good mom. Your kids are probably so happy for the good, fun life they had when they were young. And probably still have!
      Thanks Paula! You said it!

      • Well although the “vacations” are nice time wise, I don’t make any money during the time I’m off (nor do teachers, they simply take 10 months pay over 12 months). It is an incredibly hard field and I am lucky to work with some amazing people who got into it for the love of teaching. I work in special education as a teaching assistant. I work with students with a variety of intellectual and physical disabilities as well as behaviour issues. I am lucky I can afford to take the summer without pay but so many of my colleagues cannot so there are real downsides to the structure of the system in that respect.

      • Yeah, definitely. There are absolutely no teaching jobs around the Chicago suburbs, where I’m from. I have a lot of friends who are jobless because they can’t find any jobs in the area. That’s great that you work with awesome people. I feel like a job is more rewarding and fun that way. Good for you!

  6. You are SO not alone! I’m unemployed now and at times, I felt guilty. But why should I? I had the whole summer off, and isn’t that everyone’s dream? It was awesome! Being a “grown-up” isn’t all that much fun anyway. You should definitely enjoy it while you can. Anybody who might judge you is just jealous because they’re stuck in an office all day! πŸ˜€ So go you, great attitude to have. πŸ˜‰

    • That is totally everyone’s dream! Thanks Lily! I seriously think we are twins. We pretty much have the same feelings about everything! But yeah, I’m definitely trying to enjoy the time that I have in case everything changes down the road! πŸ™‚

  7. A gripping life says:

    Oh my gosh, this made me laugh! The thing is, you never know how life will change. This first half can be casual and relaxed and then bam! You have to work 18 hour days on an assembly line. Haha! But seriously, enjoy your life for what it is right now. I know you do. things will change and you’ll always be able to look back at this time as a peaceful happy memory.

    • Dude, I do enjoy it! You actually picked the one job that I wouldn’t mind doing for 18 hours. I could totally be like Laverne and Shirley (at the same time). But yeah, maybe that’s why I make sure to enjoy every moment because I never know when it’ll all be gone? I definitely don’t take it for granted!

  8. Haha, I wish I could say that as well.
    Actually, I more or less can. I’m always complaining about the amount of work I’ve got to do, but in fact I do nothing when there’s the time to catch up on my life. I’m basically staring at the wall the entire time.
    And it is, in fact, sort of fun.

    • Hahah staring at the wall! Yeah you’re at a great part of your life. During the school year you are busy with studying and friends, but when it’s the weekend and time for vacations, you get to relax! The perfect combination! Haha I always complain about stuff that I have to do too, even if it’s really nothing.

  9. I think this feeling is guilt. You wish other people could be happy enough with their lives and not jealous of yours so you feel bad. You shouldn’t feel bad when others are jealous. You should rub it in their face. I find it’s best to be happy with whatever life has given you and then do whatever you can to make it better. People are jealous of everyone. Ignore their subtle taunts!

    • Totes. I always feel guilty for having nice stuff or having an easy time or anything at all really. I find myself apologizing for having nice things. It’s weird. But yeah, you’re totally right. Should I rub it in people’s faces? I feel like both are extremes. I should be somewhere in the middle. We’re being so serious right now. It’s freaking me out.

  10. Pete Howorth says:

    I don’t think you should feel guilty, if you don’t have to work then why should you? The four months I was off work was extremely boring for me but its better than sitting behind a desk being stressed out all day, when I was off work I was still stressing about finding work, but I need money, if your monetary needs aren’t a problem then you should just enjoy the ride πŸ™‚

    • Hah yeah. I mean it would definitely lighten the load if I had a job, but it’s hard to get one without a work visa. I have to do under the table stuff like babysitting or odd jobs and stuff like that. Ugh. But yeah I know what you mean.There’s always something to stress about even if you’re not working.

  11. Being unemployed made/makes me feel guilty, too. Being on unemployment was worse, until I realized what a sweet gig it was – after 6 months of feeling feelings. Now I can’t fathom getting more than 2 things done in a day (if that) and I will have to work a real job for the first time in a year mid-november going back to SXSW. Thankfully it’ll only be a day and a half a week initially. It sounds exhausting right now! Enjoy the time of being at home and doing whatevs because feeling guilty about it just makes it a waste of time, instead of being an awesome person everyone is jealous of.

    • Yeah I think there just comes a point when you haven’t done any activities or work in so long that any amount seems daunting. A day and a half shouldn’t be too bad though. I volunteer 8 hours a week and it just about kills me. Like, what is wrong with me? At least you have kids which is like a super full time job. I’m just terminally lazy.

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