Plan for No Plans
We didn’t do anything yesterday, and it was divine. Well, I should be clear: We didn’t have anything planned for yesterday. And as a result, we did a number of fantastic things:
- Snuggled on the couch
- Played restaurant in the backyard
- Futzed around in the garden
- Finished our weekly laundry project in record time
- Took naps
- Watched “Chicken Run”
- Ordered in Indian food for dinner
- Got to bed at a decent hour
It was just what the doctor ordered, and it didn’t happen by accident.
We’re in an exciting flurry of activities — including a series of house guests and an upcoming vacation. We’re also in a great routine of socializing with other families. Professionally, my husband and I are both busy doing things we love. It’s all good.
And yet, even when what’s going on is “good”, you still need downtime to digest everything that’s going on. That’s why I put a big X through yesterday on our family calendar and didn’t make any plans for us, no matter how small. We even decided against a trip to the neighborhood park, because packing up the snacks and getting in the car is still a pretty big effort, no matter whether we’re doing a big outing or just going to the playground.
If you don’t make an effort to save some time for doing nothing, you’ll find something to keep you busy all the time. And busy all the time, even when you’re doing things you enjoy, means you’re constantly thinking about the next thing. It gets you into an amped up state where there’s no time to rest, reflect, and digest. Taking a day off from making plans is the equivalent of resting in corpse pose at the end of a yoga class — it gives you a chance to integrate all the experiences you’ve had.
We all need stillness in our lives. When you’re still, you’re receptive. And when you’re receptive, you get those amazing smoke signals from your intuition that help you know what’s most important to focus on once you are ready to start moving again.
Speaking of moving again, I’m back at full-tilt today as I welcome my Mom to Rhode Island (she’s moving here from Alabama as of today!), prepare to be interviewed by my amazing coach tomorrow on a call about No-Drama Decisions, finish up several articles for Women & Co. and Real Simple magazine, do some research for my appearance on my local morning news program (The Rhode Show) on Thursday morning, and get us packed and ready for our departure to Block Island on Friday morning. Just knowing that I’ve got a full day of unwinding in my relaxation bank makes it all seem not only doable, but exciting.
When’s the last time you took a day off from plans? How does the thought of a day with nothing to do and nowhere to go make you feel? Whether you’re craving the rest or feeling a little freaked out by the idea, it’s a sign that some downtime is just exactly what you need.