Celebrating nothing mode

I’m tired. 

What a weekend. Big dogfight between our new dog and our old dog. Felt like it went on for an hour. Probably was only three or four minutes. 

The smaller newer dog got the worst of it — and yet every time we separated them it was she who went right back at it. 

Spent some time at the emergency vet after that, me, my son, Bibi. The Vizsla who had perhaps twelve bleeding puncture wounds. (The German Shepherd had maybe six, all much smaller.)

I’m tired from the intensity. You’d be surprised how five minutes or one hour of two dogs going at it viciously takes it out of you — especially when  it’s two dogs you love.  

Yesterday we tackled a treetop trek with our nephew. He was visiting for spring break from college. On the treetop adventure you go from one platform to another on a kind of tree canopy obstacle course, passing over monkey and bird cages, passing over zoo walkers on pathways below.

(See Ann, above.)

I’m aching.

Not just from that. Last week we started walking with hiking sticks. As we came across thicker limbs we’ve been switching. Now it feels like we’re using stumps . . . they’re so dense and heavy.

That adds to the aches.

This week was high season, like the previous 18 weeks before them. Five or six days at work, three nights. Emails and phone calls off hours per usual.

I’m becoming scattered. I’ve got a pile piling up on my home office desk. Me the pile-less one has a pile. Project folders at work are stacking up like all-you-can-eat pancakes.

I didn’t get my regular four to five hours of creative practice in this weekend. You know what I’m doing to catch up tonight? 

Absolutely nothing.

As soon as I’m done writing you I’m switching it all off and crawling into bed to read, me and Ann and the kid. 

The two dogs who seem to be happily reintegrated — “they have spats like kids and then forget about it,” said the vet — will be in their own beds.

I suggest this for you too. 

If you find yourself overwhelmed and behind. Slip into nothingness mode for an evening. For an afternoon. Let all the expectations seep out of you like a deflating balloon. 

When you feel like limpid rubber — relaxed and at rest — then you’ve done your job. You’ve gone to ground zero. 

Let it percolate. There’s nothing you can’t recharge by going into nothing mode. Especially if you’ve got a notepad by your side. 

That way you can catch any thoughts about what might want to be done in the coming days. Your idea catcher, your notepad, helps empty your mind of the important things so you can righteously attend to the unimportant.

You know, like a hammock. Which I sunk into upon returning from the vet. 

Or a bath. Which I took after cleaning up the blood and dirt tracked through the house.

Nothing is more important than attending to the unimportant when you’re body’s ready to shut down. 

If you need permission to take a break, you’ve got it here. I insist on it in fact. I hereby authorize you to cease your forward motion

Earlier today I quit for the rest of the day. It was beautiful. In this post we’re celebrating renewal. Because that’s really what we’re talking about here. The need for renewal. Which I’d cast aside a little too often this week.

In the coming days I hope you savor your own renewal time. 

It has a thousand faces, renewal. Walking, napping, biking, meditating, friendship, familyship, pet petting, reading, lying on a couch where the sun warms you on a winter’s day, yard work, bouncing on a trampoline, whatever. 

Renewal is what calls to you and feels like sweet relief. 

Own it, do it, celebrate it. 

Let’s renew. 


So we can go do the things we love to do that require focus and do them better. Do them single-mindedly. Do them with a hearty inner voice in our mind’s ear. 

So we can celebrate our work and connection time . . . because we renewed so well and so thoroughly and so richly and so deservedly that we roar like lions. 

Or squeak like porpoises. Whatever spirit animal floats your boat.

Renew. Revive. Recharge. Recalibrate. Relinquish.

Then return. With a smile. As you deftly guide yourself into a more sensible rhythm.

For you 

Evan Griffith
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