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A whole lot of nothing

December 6, 2009

That’s what my friend Leroy likes to say about what he does with his time since his retirment over a decade ago. Every time I catch him in the middle of a task, he says he has to hurry up and finish so that he can get back to doing nothing.

Leroy’s phrase pretty well sums up what I’ve been doing for a good portion of the evening. It’s been dark and below zero since 5pm and nothing in the house seems to strike my fancy. I’ve already swept the floors, prepared lunch ingredients for the next few days, eaten dinner, taken a shower, stretched, and about half an hour ago couldn’t think of much else to do other than go to bed – but at 8:30, it was a little too early for that.

Instead, I put on some music and lay down on the couch in front of my fiber-optic Christmas tree and watched the colors change while I petted my cat Sammy. My gaze alternated between the tree, Sammy’s elated expression, and my inner thoughts, which wandered here and there as Brandon Rhyder’s lyrics sparked various and sundry ponderings.

Despite the apparent emptiness of the passing moments, they felt very fulfilling, much more so than had I spent them surfing the Internet to kill time; I don’t believe in killing time. Rather than fill it with mindless dribble, I allowed time to relax me, which invited reflection, observation, and the recognition that time was indeed passing, and that I was using it to bring contentment to a little creature as well as my soul.

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