Making space for nothing…

Making space for nothing... by Keri Kettle

I picked up my husband at the train station in Paris.  He flew in a week after me.  I had spent a week with the kids, taking in all of the sights of Paris.  The kids were now off on an adventure with grandma.  We had ten days of just us.

We made our way South, to the warmth and the garlic and the olive oil and fields of lavender.  After settling in to our tiny cottage and finding our way to a local restaurant for pitchers of Rose` and platters of mussels, he asked me, “what’s on the agenda for tomorrow?”  I said, “nothing, we have no agenda”.  He hadn’t slept in 30 hours, so he didn’t ask questions.

The next morning, after a good night’s rest and coffee on the terrace, he asks me again, “what’s on the agenda?  what do you have planned for us today?”.  I said, again, “nothing.”  In his defense, this is not like me.  I had my days with my kids in Paris mapped out for a month before we left.  We didn’t keep exactly to the schedule, but we came close.  Every day we had “things to do” and “a place we need to see”.  When you have teenagers, you need a compelling reason to get them up and out of the house – you need a plan and you need to know where there are lunch spots with wifi so you can have five minutes of peace while you eat your overpriced sandwich.

But my honey and I are over-scheduled and over-tasked.  We find ourselves going from one obligation to another, quickly, all week long.  For these ten days, I had planned nothing.  Yes, I had researched that there were some things I’d like to try and see – turned out both of those things were closed for the time we were there.  I took that as the universe agreeing with me that it was time for us to do nothing.

Nothing makes space for connection.

Nothing is filled with naps, usually naked.

Nothing is slowly sipping your second cup of coffee instead of drinking it in the car on the way to your next destination.

Nothing is ice cream BEFORE dinner because you can.

Nothing is delicious.

You don’t have to hide yourself in a tiny village in France to find nothing.   Nothing is available to you any time you give yourself permission to have it (unless you have a child under 5, then you need childcare to do nothing).

You don’t have to have a partner to do nothing.  We met a woman in our favorite cafe` who was spending a whole month doing nothing.

Today I am sending you a wish for your own unscheduled, nothing-to-do days.

I hope you’ll let me know when you find them.


  1. Love this! Recently retired (may 20th). With my daughter’s wedding behind me (june 27th) & our annual summer week with our granddaughter (celebrated her 12th bday)…. I can Finally say i’m retired! And Am working on not feelng guilty about making space to Do nothing…

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