Day 342: Doing Nothing/Moving Forward

Yesterday, which was Saturday, I spent most of the day “doing nothing.”

And, yes, I had some judgment about that.

Isn’t that amazing?  It’s friggin’ Day Three Hundred and Forty-Two in this Year of Living Non-Judgmentally, and I am STILL judging myself, when I have a day like that.


If I am still judging myself for such things, after so many days of working so hard on letting go of judgment, including writing a post EVERY FRIGGIN’ DAY in service of that, IS THERE ANY HOPE FOR ME?


Well, yes.  I believe there is.

Why do I believe that? Lots of reasons, including:

  • I know that I will continue to judge, because judging is human.
  • Every day, I learn more about forgiving myself for that, and letting go of judgment (including judgment about my judgment).
  • I know that I’m not alone, in all of this.

Now that I have hope,  I can move forward with this post.

So!  Here’s how I spent my day yesterday, after writing my blog post in the morning:

  • I spent a lot of time online, reading other people’s words and checking to see if other people were reading my words.
  • I watched the first episode of “The Story of FIlm: An Odyssey,” which is currently available to stream on Netflix.Image
  • I watched the very popular movie “The Avengers,” which is currently available to stream on Netflix.


  • My bf Michael and I walked to a nearby Indian Restaurant, to pick up some food.
  • Michael and I watched the highly recommended movie, “Shall We Dance,” which is currently available to stream on Netflix.


  • Inspired by that movie, we practiced Argentine Tango, for approximately three minutes.
  • I wrote somebody an email regarding ideas for Christmas presents and did a little research about those, for approximately five minutes.

Hmmm. Now that I’ve written that list, and I’ve gone back to re-read the beginning of this post, I realize this: I did NOT do nothing yesterday. I did, at least, eight things (including writing yesterday’s post).

Actually, I can add a 9th thing to that list, of things I did yesterday:

I thought about what I was NOT doing, which included:

  • Exercising more.
  • Getting out more.
  • Doing more, regarding Christmas shopping.
  • Finishing work I needed to bring home, which is due on Monday.

Here’s the deal, people:  Whatever we choose to do, there are infinite things  we are NOT doing.  Infinite.  That is NOT an exaggeration.

Therefore, I will spare you the complete list of What I Did Not Do, Yesterday.

During the second week of 2013, My First Year of Blogging, I wrote a post called “Focus on what you are doing (rather than on what you’re not doing).”  I continue to find that phrase a helpful reminder, every day. I love reminding others about that, too.

When I came up with the title for this post, this morning, I was intending to write about something else (my lack of action, so far, in getting a sleep study, and how I plan to take the next step, regarding that).

I’ve decided not to write about that, today.

So I can add What I Did Not Write About Today to the list of Things I Am Not Doing Today.  A list which will be infinite, as I hope I have proven, this fine morning.

So what should I do with THAT infinite list?

I choose to throw it away, in this magic wastepaper basket:


(which made a previous appearance, here).

Feel free to throw away anything you aren’t finding useful, too.

Thanks to  my old friend Peter (for recommending “Shall We Dance?”), IMDb, Netflix (even though I’m mad at them),  magic wastepaper baskets, list-makers everywhere, those who are doing nothing and moving forward,  and to you — especially — for reading today.

Categories: humor, inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 44 Comments

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44 thoughts on “Day 342: Doing Nothing/Moving Forward

  1. I think a magic wastepaper basket is a great idea! I remember you mentioning it in another post. At the time you tossed some of my stuff for me. 🙂

  2. You had the most productive do-nothing day I’ve ever read about, Ann. Good post.

  3. Sounds like a perfect day to me!

  4. Your lists are always so lengthy – some good choices too 🙂

  5. funny how
    doing nothing
    is something. 🙂

  6. An absolutely delightful post as always, Ann. Also, perhaps you don’t know what an achievement it is to do the Argentine tango for three whole minutes. (Speaking as someone who, with her husband, failed beginners’ dance class twice and then did not succeed in the remedial program, either.)

    By the way, my blog is currently private because one of my kids discovered it. I am not sure what to do about that, yet, although as I’m shy it’s not such a big deal to have zero readers. If you’re still interested in dropping by, just follow the directions when you get to the “Private property” sign. I think I can give free tickets to people who ask.

    • Thank you for this wonderful comment, as always, too. I didn’t say I did the Argentine tango for three whole minutes … we practiced it. (I’m making that distinction because I’m not sure that you, or anybody else, would have recognized it as the Argentine tango.) Anyway, thanks for the info about how to access your blog — much appreciated.

  7. I’m certain that I wouldn’t have recognized your tango as Argentine. If I could, then perhaps I’d have a better chance of doing it myself. Although, possibly the tango that my husband and I were going for was more … Northern Yukon. Or, simply, Tangle. There was a lot of floor involved, as I recall. High school cafeteria floor.

    But these are details. If you tell me that you’re doing the tango, then I see the tango in what you’re doing.

  8. Here’s to many many more days of just relaxing and just enjoying life 🙂

  9. I’ve told myself I’ve done nothing today and actually got quite a lot done! An hour reading a novel makes me think I’m lazy but there are 23 other hours. Great post.

  10. I saw The Avengers and fell in love with The Hulk, so much so that I bought the DVD. (Can you tell the child in me?) LOL!

  11. I was afraid today was going to end up as a do nothing day but I actually got a lot done, including getting all my Christmas shopping for my husband done and almost finishing my book for book club, which is this Friday. It was due back to the library yesterday so I need to finish it tonight and put it in the drop box before I’m charged for more than a day. I love the movie ‘Shall We Dance’.

    • Thanks so much for this comment! I got a little shopping done, but I still haven’t done my work that’s due tomorrow. I shall be doing that now. I appreciate your visiting today.

  12. You did a lot more than I did!

  13. I love this: “I choose to throw it away, in this magic wastepaper basket”. I plan to log this to memory — and then to try my best to just throw away negative thoughts and worries into my own magic wastepaper basket.

  14. I don’t know how to do nothing. I will be following your blog to get the directions. Seems a very worthwhile thing to do. 🙂

    • I agree! Thanks so much for this comment. Doing nothing (and feeling okay about that) does take practice, that’s for sure.

  15. Janis Moulton

    If you actually did nothing but write your blog on any given day, I call that a very productive day! You reminded me that on any given day I need to cut myself some slack about my “infinite list” of things I could have done. You remind me that the small pleasures of daily living are just as important, if not more, than my to-do list. I’m a cat person and LOVE your magical trashcan!

  16. I enjoyed this post, the reminders, and glimpses into what you consider a do-little/nothing day. If I read it correctly, there were some errors in your account. Rather than “wasting” the day, it sounded like you invested it in recharging your batteries, taking the time to enjoy life and relationships that are important to you, trying new things, having fun, getting some exercise, exposing yourself to various art forms, handling at least two items on your to-do list, etc. Wow! What a productive day! ;-D!

    • Thanks for your perspective, Russ, as always. Since I do make errors every day, I love being called on these particular types of errors. I am grateful for your visit and your wise words.

  17. Lovely post, Ann. I am always beating myself for “doing nothing” when I actually never sit down for more than 10mins during the day. That looks like a lovely magical bin…is that a tenner in there?!!!

    • Thank you for this lovely comment, Cat. Stop beating yourself! That’s an order!

      I just looked at the photo of the magical bin (love that term) … I can’t remember what was in there, but it was something made out of cardboard, I think. Whatever it was, it’s thrown away. In other words, there’s room in there, so feel free to throw anything you want in there, too!

  18. Love this post and the reminder not to worry about what we are NOT doing.

  19. Linda Lintz


    It is good to give ourselves permission to have time to do nothing/to rest-to do whatever it is that makes us feel good although in our culture doing too much & too many things at once is the norm, and guilt over doing “nothing” is a common judgment. Sounds as if you did all sorts of goodies:)

    Prioritizing what is important to me is more the great challenge. I end up asking myself-what do I want more of? What do I want less of?

    Great cat waste basket-perfect for the cat lover that you are-it made me smile.

    I’d love to see you & bf doing your Argentine Tango. I have had so much fun ballroom dancing, and laughed at what I couldn’t do as much as smiled when getting better with some dances.

    Did you know that the Shall I Dance had a predecessor that is Japanese with subtitles that is a must see released in 1997. Even though the culture is different in some ways that are interesting, it still is the same similar dancing story.

    Your blog is interesting as well as is food for provacative thought:).

    • Thanks for this great comment, Linda! Always wonderful to see you here and to read what you have to say.

      Actually, the movie we watched WAS the Japanese one. We enjoyed it, very much. And maybe you’ll get to see us dance, some day!

      • Linda Lintz

        I’d love to see you both dance the Argentine Tango. I am not familiar with that type of tango to identify it:)

        The American version Shall We Dance stars Richard Geere, Susan Sarandon as his wife & Jennifer Lopez as the dance teacher, and it’s equally good to check out.


      • And we’re not familiar enough with that type of tango to help you identify it, either! Thanks for this comment, Linda.

  20. Pingback: Very Inspiring Blogger Award, Thanks Palm Rae Urban Potager! | Babsje Heron

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