Doing (Almost) Nothing

I came to an interesting realization this morning: I’m becoming exceptionally and uncharacteristically good at “wasting” time. Indeed, it’s Friday, and I have almost nothing to show for the week. Sure, I’ve had several appointments, seen friends, knit a hat, and kept myself alive, but I’ve accomplished very little else.

Six months ago, I’d have been absolutely horrified at this lack of productivity. Though it still bothers me, I’m now able to push away most twinges of guilt, comforting myself with the fact that I’m not supposed to be working; I’m on leave for a reason, right? Right.

My husband’s been telling me since I was diagnosed with epilepsy that I should redefine what it means to be “productive,” and I’m finally coming to see things his way, much as it pains me to admit that he’s had a point all along.

Maybe it’s true, then, that the best use of my time, at least while I’m off, is to continue to spend my days making sunflower butter and banana sandwiches, doing needle crafts, going to appointments, and writing short stories that no one will ever read (you’re welcome, world, for not subjecting you to my shoddy fiction) without beating myself up about what I could be doing.

Welcome to my world.
Welcome to my world.

Reexamining that last clause, I recognize that it could be reframed/unpacked. If I were healthier at present, I could be making progress toward my degree in a more concrete way. That’s the first “could be doing.” The second is staying in bed all day every day, which is sometimes difficult to resist given the side effects of my medications, nature of my seizures, etc. I should give myself credit for not succumbing to this temptation (except in extreme circumstances). Go me.

What it comes down to is this: while it’s hard not to feel like I’m falling behind in life, especially career-wise, by taking care of myself now, I’m in actuality making an investment in my future.

Wow, I sound like a motivational speaker. A bad one, but whatever.

I guess the key is to avoid shoving this epiphany on the same dusty shelf I’ve put all the self-help books I’ve bought and forgotten about over the years.

And now to finish knitting my latest project.


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