Next to Nothing

Mom's house, at the end of Türkengasse

Mom's house, at the end of Türkengasse

This phrase came up today: Dawn said she could really get used to doing next to nothing. That’s the topic of today’s blog, and once I get done with it I will be filled with a sense of accomplishment.

Today, “Freitag” means Free Day (I think) in German. That suggests you should have the day off from work, and I decided to focus on doing nothing today. That’s an overstatement of course, but it’s also about teaching myself to let go and relax. The day is full of things to worry about, even if you’re on sabbatical. For example, the kids are constantly in danger of hurting themselves, each other, the cat, the dog, etc. My mom let me know of a woman who died suddenly from drinking out of a bottle of supermarket water, because the water bottles were kept in a warehouse and rats pissed on the bottles and so, this woman died. So you have to be careful about drinking directly out of the plastic bottles, and especially with the children.

There’s also the concern over whether the kids are sick, or if it’s allergies – and the allergies are likely from the dog, who sheds all over the place. But you can never get caught up with it. As soon as you start sweeping, the dog’s shedding again, and so on. Root cause: get rid of the dog, but it’s not my dog and can you imagine how rude it would be to suggest to my mom that she get rid of the dog because we’re allergic to it?

But today I found relaxation, at the pool. Yesterday we went too, but we only stayed an hour and a half because we had to get Charlotte down for her nap. Talk about something to worry about: the kid missing a nap. We didn’t go back, and we spent eight euros on it, so it really was a waste. But today, it dawned on me that Lily and I could stay at the pool longer, and Dawn could leave with Charlotte, then perhaps we could all reconnect later at the pool, after Charlotte got up. Brilliant! The idea of staying the whole day at the pool was like some tonic or drain cleaner, that just opened me up. I felt great ease and possibly bliss, as the writer Eckart Tolle suggests in his book “The Power of Now.” Perhaps this is the beginning of spiritual enlightenment after all.

He also suggests that we have a problem with our minds, and it’s our minds that get in the way of peace, because our minds have us enslaved to them. It is a kind of addiction: the constant thinking, planning, worrying. Even so, I find myself addicted to worrying and that will be interesting to understand more in the days to come. Why? Is there some comfort in worrying?

Right now I’m distracted by the kids arguing downstairs, and Dawn trying to maintain governance. I should go insert myself.

Categories: Detours, humor


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