Doing nothing.


This isn’t one of those moaning posts.


I love my job, I love my friends, I have the best kid in the world (imho), life is really very exciting, and optimistic and all sorts of good things at the moment.


I keep finding my mind drifting to open spaces. Wide skies. Cold, fresh air that catches at the back of your throat. I want to watch the morning sunlight rippling across open water, and to lie back and hear nothing but the wind in the trees and the birds in the sky. Peace!

I imagine running my fingers over rough bark, feeling leaves and pebbles under my feet. I want to stand at the edge of water and jump back before it soaks through my boots. I want to watch the steam rising out of a flask of hot chocolate, and sit in peace with my best friend, doing nothing more than watching the world go by and waiting for the moment the sun sinks into the water.

Herring Cove

Life gets so hectic sometimes, doesn’t it?

From the moment I wake up, I’m connected to something. There’s email and Twitter and my mobile, and instant messaging, and Skype and phone calls, and the postman at the door, and a courier package to be collected.

There’s the school run, the traffic, the parking – I sometimes wonder how much time each week I devote to the (highly) imperfect art of parking.



This weekend, I visited my parents, and was thrilled that my Mum had found one of my old photo albums on the top shelf of a cupboard. There are dozens of photos – lots of thrilling fashion choices from the 1980s, but also stacks of my favourite photos, taken on various trips overseas.


Meredith, NH

I think the album got mislaid, during the divorce, when I was moving house. Having it back feels like being reunited with an old friend. I’ve taken some of these photos to the printers to have enlarged and hung over my desk. It’s not quite the same, though.

Sometimes the hardest thing in the world is finding the time to do nothing at all.


Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She’s also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world’s coolest ten year old.

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  1. 24th January 2012 / 2:15 am

    Hey Sally, I know how you feel! Our lives are so full on from the moment we wake up that we really don’t know how to do nothing and when it does happen it can bring clarity (at least for me to so many things. Hope all is well with you. I’m busy with a new blog and just readjusting to life here. Maria x

  2. 24th January 2012 / 2:37 pm

    You took those pictures? *throws hands in air* For goodness’ sake woman. Can’t you be rubbish at something for once!

  3. 24th January 2012 / 3:52 pm

    Lovely photos – I have a picture of our shadows on the beach taken on the last night of our honeymoon on my desk, reminds me of wide open spaces and work being unimportant…
    Time to find time to try and do nothing? To disconnect for a few hours?

  4. 24th January 2012 / 8:06 pm

    Hi Maria – your new life looks great – hope you’re settling in okay. Life is so full-on these days, but I do love it!

  5. 24th January 2012 / 8:07 pm

    Sometimes there are things it’s hard to take a bad photo of – I think these are proof of that! I’m certainly no photographer.

  6. 24th January 2012 / 8:07 pm

    Thanks for the compliment – and yes, it’s good to have a reminder of the proper perspective, sometimes, isn’t it?

  7. 24th January 2012 / 8:19 pm

    I love looking through old photo albums! And I totally understand about finding time for peace, just a bit of time to myself would be lovely!

  8. Nikki Thomas
    24th January 2012 / 8:27 pm

    Beautiful photos and I can so relate to your post! I often liken my life to a treadmill, usually on uphill mode and rarely on slow!

  9. 24th January 2012 / 8:59 pm

    Stopping is sometimes so hard to do! The photos are fabulous here’s hopig they help you fnd that space for a few moments in a hectic day!

  10. TheBoyandMe
    24th January 2012 / 9:26 pm

    We’re going away next weekend to Bluestone in West Wales and I really shouldn’t take my laptop, but I will. And quite possibly the worst mistake they have made is having free wi-fi throughout the site, it makes it impossible to switch off. I’m going to have to make a concerted effort to not check twitter, my e-mails and even to snap photos all the time. I need to just enjoy the moment, and feel the bark!

  11. 24th January 2012 / 10:32 pm

    I just feel very overwhelmed at the moment by conversation and questions and noise. I’m craving space and quiet, so badly. I think we need a weekend road trip.

  12. 24th January 2012 / 10:33 pm

    Thanks Nikki – the funny thing is life’s not really a treadmill, it’s more fun than that but I think I need a bit less noise and chaos! Here’s to slowing down, too.

  13. 24th January 2012 / 10:34 pm

    Yes, I’m hoping they’ll provide some inspiration until I see them in person.

  14. 24th January 2012 / 10:34 pm

    Oh, Bluestone looks lovely but are you sure about the laptop???

  15. 24th January 2012 / 10:35 pm

    I know – my badge is shameful. One of those things in my “must get around to it” list!

  16. 25th January 2012 / 11:29 am

    “Doing nothing” has to really be fought for when you are a busy parent, so important though. Love finding old photo albums, like spending time with an old and easy to be with friend – enjoy your memories

  17. 25th January 2012 / 11:37 am

    Ooooooo a world of peace! Looking at those pictures does make my mind calm down a bit, if only if physically I can not do anything for just a bit too.

  18. 25th January 2012 / 12:09 pm

    What a lovely post. I crave Scotland for just this reason. Space. Big skies. Empty beaches. And time to reflect *nostalgic sigh*

  19. 4th February 2012 / 5:31 pm

    Really love this post and totally relate to it – I swear I used to be brilliant at doing nothing, but now that I actually *need* to, I really can’t find the time (or if I do I feel so guilty that it lasts all of five minutes). I’ve got a completely free weekend as something got cancelled and I am already trying to fill it with stuff that I ‘should’ be doing instead of what I’d like to do to relax. You have made me want to go through my photo albums though so perhaps that would be a start…