Monday, July 25, 2011

the art of doing nothing


my parents used to put me to bed around 7:30 each night.

when i would hear the familiar chords of the entertainment tonight theme song, i knew it was time. time to go brush my teeth and head upstairs, the sun not quite set. mama, quite correctly, later told me the early bedtime sentence was enforced because i never took naps, and plum wore them out. but their plan for me to catch an early slumber was always foiled, because late afternoon sunbeams would peer through my thin floral sheets and i ended up reading until night fell.

alone in my tiny twin bed, i devoured the babysitter's club. american girl. goosebumps. and later, when my sister and i shared a room, we would lie in the same dusky sunset and spill our secrets, with only the pale pink couch to witness.

i was never one to nap. never one to relax or calm down or take it easy.

but then, one day, i found myself married. to a man who relishes and adores sleep almost as much as he is enamored with me. a man who, if left alone, can sleep until one in the afternoon. and i found myself all of a sudden aware. of the beauty of doing nothing. the art of it, really.

so when my family went to the beach this year, i only read two pages of the book i brought along. i tried to work on homework. i really did.

but instead, i walked along the shore with mama and carly, kicking up little showers of sand with my toes and lying in the water, giving myself a makeshift sea salt scrub with rocks brought in by the waves.

i ate long dinners and went back for seconds. i watched movies and took walks around the neighborhood at seven in the evening, and peered into the houses of families not unlike my own, making supper from ocean catches and gathering around long wooden tables.

i caught up with family i haven't seen in a while. my sweet grandfather and his beautiful, kind-hearted wife. my great-aunt who knows the best way to fry a flounder is with cornmeal, and my great uncle and second cousin who rise with the sun to go out on the boat. they've all got such beautiful hearts.

it may have taken me 24 years, but i've learned. how to rest, body and mind. how to really capture that sweet feel of sleep. and i owe it all to the man who lies to the left of me every night, whose breaths and sighs are the lullaby of our little cottage.

and the best part is, he lets me stay up as late as i want to. oh, adulthood!

**i'm thrilled to be posting today as part of feed the birdies' "what girls like" series. head on over to check out my thoughts on one of my great loves, thrifting!

18 comments:

Claire said...

i am an expert at doing nothing! Seriously..i can sit and daydream for hours.....

Anonymous said...

I think discovering this at only 24 is great. Some people go their whole lives not knowing this secret. It's those little moments when you relax and let yourself just be where you are that you hear the song of the universe.

jeanette from everton terrace

Shalyn said...

I love this- it really is nice to sometimes just BE! Love the pictures- if that Beaufort is the one I am thinking of, my husband lived there for awhile on his mission-BEAUTIFUL!

Erika Lee Sears said...

isn't it so great to get out of town and just enjoy life?

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you had a great time!! I'm so glad you enjoyed it---but I'm also glad you are back to blogging! :)

~Tiffany
http://tiffanyd22.blogspot.com

Gentri said...

Oh I love this! It sounds soooo nice! haha!

Brandi {not your average ordinary} said...

There really is something special about being able to take some time and do nothing at all. I'm still working on it.

Amber Blue Bird said...

I am still trying to learn this. It can be quite difficult for me to transition from my hectic everyday life into relaxed mode. Soon I will get the hang of this, it does sound so lovely.

the southern hostess said...

Vacations are so good for the soul. Beautiful post!

Kristina said...

What a great post! The art of just doing nothing, and to simply be - is one I have no quite accomplished yet.

Eleanor at Mirror Of My World said...

beautiful post as always xxxx

Trina Curran said...

I needed this post today more than you know. I have been feeling quite overwhelmed, with things, ideas, hobbies, stuff, and more...I want to sit and enjoy one thing. One. And not worry about the other ten. I wish I knew how.

Lynn {hearted girl} said...

gosh girl, those pictures are great! so bright and sunny there, love it lades : )

this is the truest sentiment to that saying " we are who we surround ourselves with", so happy you have your sweet man there to the left. it's the best way to be and to be loved. Courtney and Robert forever!!!!! xo ♥

HazelandMare said...

That sounds like such a lovely vacation :) We can all stand to have a little more "nothing" in our lives. I could use a bit myself!

I admit though, I'm glad you're back! I have missed your sweet posts!

charla beth said...

soo glad you got time to relax, dear. i am still learning that same thing--the sweetness of doing nothing, so to read this was such a pleasure.

what a sweet little vacation. and even sweeter that you got to truly enjoy it.

charla beth said...

oh, and i just went to read your guest post! and while i'm not much for thrifting, your telling of what lies BEHIND the clothes and items you find was just beautiful. you have a gift for turning the seemingly simple things into great treasures!

beka said...

i get a nap probably 3 times a month. maybe a couple more than that.
if it's lovely out, the sunset hours draw me to the front yard and chairs like a strong magnet, no joke. it's amazing. and a breeze? just breathing and cherishing the quiet.

i want to live by the water someday, though.
reallyreally want to.

-love the pictures:) :)

Cara-Mia said...

I have never ever been one to nap, either. I was my mother's first child and she said she used to pass out from lack of sleep.

My fiance is BIG on napping... so I'm curious to see what will happen once we get married and live together. I'm good at lounging around and doing relaxing things, but never napping.

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