Time off

My aim for October was to do nothing. Being the first month off since leaving my job, the chance to do nothing seemed a huge novelty compared to worklife. How often in life can you have the freedom to have no obligations? Thus, I indulged and spent my time playing Final Fantasy Dimensions, reading some YA fantasy fiction, watching two seasons of Once Upon a Time, finally learning the last page of Liebestraume No. 3, and sleeping over ten hours a day. The only real change I made over the course of the month was to go from eating out the majority of the time to eating in so I’d be within budget.

I took a break in a very literal sense. Now that it’s all said and done, I realize it’s scary how quickly it’s possible to adjust to changes. For the first few days, I had a strong urge to be productive. But since my goal was to do nothing, I fought it the urge. By the middle of the second week, that urge was gone. Also in the first few days, I’d always think it would be some time in the early evening when the clock would actually read early afternoon. Now, I’m back to the all too familiar feeling of, “Wait, it’s 11pm already?”

The first week off also felt like an extended long weekend. Monday would come, and there’d be no work. Now, Fridays and Mondays are one and the same. I’ve also quickly adjusted to having zero income. I used to not think twice about spending $16 for a ten minute UberX ride. Now I completely balk at the idea. That’s almost $100/hr rate. Though maybe that says more about living in San Francisco.

I enjoyed doing nothing, but only in the present moment of doing nothing. I can’t say that my time spent relaxing was that worthwhile. I’m not suffering from burnout, so two weeks was probably more than enough. I realize now that it’s like sleep. Even if you’re sleep deprived for months on end, you really only need two or three nights of good sleep to get back on track. An extra four hours a night for the next three months is not necessary.

The only time spent bumming out that still feels satisfying today was my time spent in Seattle visiting a best friend. It was very reminiscent of our time in college. We deliberately kept most of the days free and just did whatever random thing we felt like. This generally translates to long conversations analyzing life, doing awkward things, and laughing at ourselves uncontrollably.

I guess I didn’t really successfully do nothing in all of October. When it became clear that I no longer needed day in and day out to bum out, I got a head start on my reading goals for November. Plus, I now needed to readjust from bum mode back to being mildly productive again. I didn’t want to waste time in November transitioning. Despite knowing now that I didn’t need the entirety of month off, I don’t regret how I spent last month. It’s hardly the first time I misused my time.


  1. Ann Bateman says:

    I know what you mean Lucy, these days I don’t know a Saturday from a Monday…..and it is amazing how quickly the day goes by, seems much faster Ghana when I was working. When I have all of this time to get things done, I don’t feel the pressure to actually accomplish them. It is great not to have to rush, rush, rush all of the time….but not as much, much, much is being accomplished.

  2. Ann Bateman says:

    ps, new Apple update is horrible especially the autocorrect…..I did not write Ghana….I wrote “than”

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