The joy of Nothing… by SJV
2018/01/02  |  By:   |  Features  |  

For the first time in my working life I took an (all be it enforced) extended Christmas break 2017 and it’s quite possibly one of the best things I’ve ever done.

Our holiday year at S&S runs January to December and you’re allowed to carry over a maximum of 5 days into the next Spring – but at the end of November, I found myself with 13 days still to take, so it was a simple case of taking 8 days off before 31st December, or losing them…

So that’s how I found myself on 15th December sticking my Out of Office on… and I wrote this feature on the train on my first #commute in 18 days…

So, I hear you ask, did you pack your break full to the brim with brunches and lunches and dinners and drinks with friends and family? Did you get away and use your holiday to mini-break? Did you decorate the hallway? Did you go see the new Star Wars? Did you tackle the chores you’ve been delaying since the summer? Did you go for a Christmas walk? Did you paint your nails? Nope, not even one little bit.  In truth, some days I barely washed.

I sat. I slumped. I lay. I did nothing.

I ate. I nibbled. I grazed. I did nothing.

I watched movies. I glanced at Twitter. I drank a lot of gin. I played with Pepper for hours on end. But basically, I did nothing.

I made Christmas dinner for my poor old mum and my world famous beef stew for my husbands family. I saw my Niece and Big Sister and Bro-in-law and spent a couple of hours with one of my best friends and her little girl. But that’s it. I didn’t sort out my sock draw, my spice cupboard or the cleaning stuff under the sink. I picked up my much anticipated Christmas Read several times, did less than a chapter before resting it back on the TBR Pile. I thought about dusting the picture frames…

I sat. I napped. I cried at adverts. I laughed at/with my husband. I ignored the phone and didn’t answer the door bell. I wore PJs for 14 days. I did nothing.

I watched the birds and the sunrise and the sunset and the rain from the comfort of my armchair whilst eating cheese.

I didn’t read the news or take more than a cursory glance at work email. I made a lacklustre attempt at shopping the Boxing Day Sales online. I thought about making some New Year New Me resolutions…

So, I hear you ask, do you feel like you wasted your holidays? Nope, not even one little bit.

I feel calm, balanced, rested, relaxed and restored. I’m relatively ready for all ‘this’ to start again. I feel grateful that I have an all ‘this’ to get back to, to give me purpose and stop me going feral. I feel thankful that I got through 2017 and relatively excited for what 2018 may bring to my door.  I feel that whilst the other 50 weeks of the year have been packed to the rafters with plans and goals and the busy-busy-busy of ‘life’, those two weeks of ‘nothing’ have been glorious and peaceful and quiet and still.  So, here’s to the extended Out of Office.  Here’s to not making plans. Here’s to not going on holiday.  Here’s to not Spring cleaning or decorating or socialising. When I raised my glass on NYE I raised it to a (hopefully) happy, healthy and wealthy 2018, with a huge side order of NOTHING. Do it my friends, it’s a revelation.