Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Snippet

I like to have warning of when someone in my family is about to come home.  Usually this warning consists of a noise.  So i listen.

When we had a driveway, i knew the sound of The Mister's car, then the garage door opening.  Now it's the faint whine of an elevator i am listening for.  If it's a long lasting whine, then it's likely to be him, as we live near the top of the building.

I like to have warning so that i won't be caught doing ........ nothing.  I feel guilty doing nothing.  I feel like i will be judged for doing nothing.  Although when i am doing nothing is when i am thinking.  Which appears to the casual observer to be a lot like doing nothing.

To be clear, The Mister has never, ever criticized me for doing nothing, even when it would have been justified, so the difficulty lies in my own head.

 Picture from our hike to Mt. Baker this weekend, photographed by The Mister.

Sometimes i fail to listen and get caught doing nothing thinking deep thoughts anyway.

20 comments:

JelliDonut said...

This made me laugh because I do the same thing. When the garage door goes up, I jump up and look busy. Kind of seems silly, now that I think about it.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Scarred as children, we were. In my case, I feel deeply that I need to justify my existence, the air I breathe, although it has been a very long time since I was criticized for not looking busy enough.

How are you adjusting to apartment living? I find it a huge change from having a house and land, and it still seems unnatural to me.

nick said...

I know exactly what you mean. When Jenny comes home from a hard day's work and jobless me is lounging in a chair absorbed in a book, I ask myself whether I've done enough useful things during the day not to look like a total slob. And like Mister, she never criticises me but it doesn't stop me nervously scrutinising my daily routine.

Fabulous photo. You must have had to pick your way round all the piles of snow.

Maggie said...

My doing nothing looks like I'm depressed apparently because whenever my husband finds me sitting and staring out the window - deep deep in thought - he gets extremely concerned and wants to help me. It makes me laugh a little, if he only knew the poetry and stories flying through my highly active mind at that time. But I can see his POV.

I just had a thought. What if we went to 'do nothing' clubs, like we do book clubs or gyms. Then a bunch of people could sit around in comfortable chairs staring outside thinking. I guess that's called vacation isn't it?

de said...

there is always something more that could be done in the household, and for some reason, I too suffer great guilt because I am not constantly working at it.

Another "problem" for me is that I need hours more sleep a night than Tony does, which I think makes me look lazy (when by all accounts, he is the oddity who needs only five hours).

In the late afternoon, I sit in the dining room, which is the only room in the house where you can see the driveway, and I leap up when he pulls in.

Mrs. Chili said...

I do the same thing, but I'm not worried about being caught doing nothing, I'm worried about being caught doing nothing in front of the computer. I'm trying to be very mindful of the time I spend at my desk; I don't want my kids' strongest memory of Mommy to be her plopped in front of her feed reader...

Cagey (Kelli Oliver George) said...

Yes, I get this. I really get this. Manoj never says anything, either. Still, I prefer to be "caught" in the kitchen or sitting with the kids, than in front of the computer, TV, or even a book. Odd guilt on my part.

meno said...

jelli, look at the other comments! We are not alone. :)

hearts, i love living here. No yard work, no outside maintenance. I can walk most places i need to be! Yeah!

nick, i always question my output too, as i am retired and The Mister works so hard.

maggie, stillness = depression. huh. I like the club idea, it seems legitimate if we say we are at a club meeting.

de, i need more sleep too! I hate that. Although i sure love snuggling in my bed.

mrs. chili, my child is old enough to KNOW i spend way too much time at the computer. Almost as much time as she does.

cagey, yes, i try to get my nothing done before he gets home.

Clowncar said...

so what do yo do? start washing dishes before he walks in the door?

does reading count as doing something?

great pic.

luckyzmom said...

Joining that club....jumping on that bandwagon....Why was I amused by your post and all the other comments while I feel that I am a way more hardcore...ummm... deep thinker.

Magpie said...

When we lived in apartment, I couldn't hear the elevator. But the cats could; they'd get up and mosey over to the door, to await the human arrival.

Me of Little Patience said...

I tend to look exasperated as my other half enters the door. Mostly because he calls every 15 minutes or so to give me a play by play of traffic, or his coffee patterns as he returns home.

meno said...

clowncar, laundry. There's always some laundry to fold.

luckyzmom, ah, another deep thinker! :)

magpie, my cat does that too. I call him my early warning system.

little patience, i have had to cure mine of entertaining himself by calling me on his way home and chatting.

Scott from Oregon said...

Weird...

Doing nothing is about the most productive a body can be...

Especially in between doing somethings...

NIce photo of what looks like a nice hike...

sari said...

I laugh...only because I do the same thing. In our house, the "warning" is the lights flickering a bit because the garage door is opening. :-)

mischief said...

I remember doing that as a child, always trying to look productive to escape being called lazy. Even when I was in bed, if the door opened I would sit up fast and pretend I hadn't been sleeping... absurd. I revel in the fact that I can do nothing if I want to at this stage of life, that my husband approves highly of it. But the seed is planted deeply anyway and I know exactly the feeling you mean.

TaraDharma said...

oh, how I know the feeling. The other no-no is watching trash t.v....

as kids we would watch Roller Derby on t.v. as mom did the ironing (SHE was the instigator) . When we saw or heard dad's car roll up, OFF went the t.v. and we all scurried to look busy, productive, and worthy.

:-)

Dick said...

We are both retired and usually go most places together so there are not many times when one is coming home alone. But when it happens, I guess it is part of being an Old Coot in that I guess I really don't care whether it looks like I am working at something or not. I am always doing something, maybe only sleeping.

You should have climbed to the top of Mt. Baker. Then the photo would have just shown snow and ice. A cool picture on a hot summer day. But it is a nice photo with interesting patterns.

tysdaddy said...

See, this is why I love your blog. Your writing. Small, yet oh so big. Packed with poignancy . . .

I've missed reading your blog . . .

Marshamlow said...

My husbands schedule is pretty much the same all the time. I usually wait until about an hour before he comes home to start doing a bunch of busy work I have put off all day long.