My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #457: The Value of Doing 'Nothing'

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 09-10-2011 12:37 PM 1117 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 456: Inspiration from Friends Part 457 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 458: The Calm Before the Storm »

Some days, I am not ambitious at all. Fortunately for me, it isn’t very often. Even though my head is full of ideas, I just didn’t feel like working on anything job-related yesterday. I just don’t know.

Those of you who read and know me realize that this isn’t my normal attitude to just ‘do nothing.’ Usually I am in several directions, wondering which direction I should start first. But for some reason, yesterday the fire just wasn’t there.

It isn’t as if I sat and did nothing all day. As a matter of fact, it was quite the contrary. There were lots of things to accomplish around the house here and I also needed to run some errands that took up much of the day. I pulled out my cool weather clothes. I did some housework. I made a pizza for dinner. By the time that I finished all of these things, it was nearly 7pm and I just wasn’t in the mood to start anything new or to work. So I did some reading here at Lumberjocks and picked around on the computer and for the most part did nothing.

Part of me felt a bit guilty for this behavior. After all, I am frequently saying that there aren’t enough hours in the day to finish everything that I want. But there was a bigger part of me inside that was not only not guilty, but actually proud of myself for taking this time to do what I wanted. Somehow I felt that I needed this.

In general, I think I push myself pretty hard. I set a goal and I try my best to accomplish it. If I don’t, it is usually because some other job-related issue arose that took its place. I like being that way, and I am proud of my work ethic.

But I have felt a little overwhelmed lately. I am not certain why, but there are just lots of things that are pulling me in several directions at once and I feel the need to slow down a bit an take a breath. In the past, when I haven’t listened to myself and continued at the pace despite these feelings, I sometimes would bottom out and go through a phase where I didn’t accomplish anything.

Sometimes taking a day or two to regroup and take a breath is the best answer.

I have a wedding to attend this afternoon followed by a dinner this evening. I don’t know how much I will get done today either. Tomorrow is set in my mind as a ‘painting day’ and I plan on spending it doing some painting. After yesterday, I toyed with the idea that I would not allow myself that luxury, given my low output these past few days, but I don’t really want to do that. It would be as if I am punishing myself for taking a breath, and that isn’t how I want to live my life.

So I will see what the day brings.

Doing nothing is really doing something after all. It is giving ourselves time to regroup and relax and enjoy our lives to the fullest. When I hear of my hard-working creative friends taking time for themselves, I cheer for them. I admire them for valuing themselves enough to take care of themselves and I see how it makes them even more creative and happier.

Now I think it is my turn. :)

Have a wonderful day!

Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering. ~Pooh’s Little Instruction Book, inspired by A.A. Milne

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

5 comments so far

View patron's profile


13608 posts in 3368 days

#1 posted 09-10-2011 01:19 PM

nothing wrong
with recharging

after all
we work
to have a better life

enjoying it
along the way

is also part of that

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View BertFlores58's profile


1698 posts in 2949 days

#2 posted 09-10-2011 01:45 PM

It is a part in our lives to be idle in a way. It depends on the stimulus that will trigger your mood. Doing nothing will be transient. The after effect is the most productive part. Rest and be refreshed.
I think, I need to be idle for a while…
God bless,

-- Bert

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2947 days

#3 posted 09-10-2011 02:46 PM

I feel like it is time to recharge, David. I always look forward to autumn and then winter and I have so many things I want to do in the near future. I just think I need a little time to regroup before jumping into them.

Bert – your latest project is really wonderful. I think you earned some idle time after all the energy you put into it. It is amazing what you accomplish!

Have a really great day!


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10123 posts in 4080 days

#4 posted 09-10-2011 07:58 PM

Sheila, yep, there are times when you just get “burned out” and must step back and just plain Rest and Do whatever you want… even if it’s NOTHING… listening to music… watching TV… or just looking out the window!

Don’t worry, be happy now…

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3142 days

#5 posted 09-10-2011 08:08 PM

you better paint for your own joy tommorow and shot down the brain
if not, there is a ninethaled that is ready to make a stepdance on your backbones ….. :-)

here it has been a hard day filling the container with damaged things and other stuff the boss
want to get rit of walking around like a zombie after 24 hours work and only 2½ hours sleep
so after 7 hours I said to her no more for today need a Morfar now before dinner ….
surpricingly no argument against it from her :-) .... but 4/5 of the container is filled already so …..
and its a joy to be able to walk thrugh the basement again without climping mauntains of wet trash :-)
I just need to stay up two more hours or it will be tooo early I wake up tomorrow….

have a great saturday your self

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