must learn something every day

​i get up, and most days i have some kind of plan. ​I don't always DO the things on my plan, but i start off with one.​

  • ​today i want to learn ... [insert appropriate food thing here]
  • ​today i want to go to ... [insert appropriate food-related store here]
  • ​today i want to run to ... [insert appropriate distance to help offset the calories of above food things here]

​​Yesterday i met someone who looked like me. she had plans. she had this amazing list of things to do and learn. she talked about her passions and her adventures and her event-attendance, one thing after another, always so much to learn, never enough time.​

it looked exhausting.

​I saw myself perhaps how my husband sees me (in fact he said these actual words to me last weekend: why do we have to plan lunch? - it was 11 a.m., we were in a store with good food, i said let's get something for lunch while we're here, he's like but i'm not even hungry, and i'm like you'll be hungry later, and he's like why can't we just go for a walk at 11 a.m. and not have it mean something).


so yesterday, when i met this woman, i thought - oh that's what it looks like.

trying to fill a hole with stuff.

now, don't get me wrong. it's light-years better than trying to fill that hole with booze. better to be curious and open and eager to learn. agreed.

but also, nothing wrong with sitting on the couch on a sunny day in my husband's pyjama bottoms with a gigantic hole in them, ​reading back issues of New York magazine, ​having no plan except to drink more decaf.

i'm going to experiment with that today. see how i do.

Question: what happens when you just sit. you watch the royal wedding, or you flip through magazines, or you stop forcefully achieving, even for an afternoon. what happens?

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I want to put this online, to hold myself accountable. I want to document the noise in my head. I'm tired of thinking about drinking. date of last drink: june 30, 2012

  • Thank you Belle, I needed this today. There is always a laundry list of things to do…and always will be. It’s a nice reminder that sometimes you need to put it all down for a bit and just be.

  • You could have described me and my husband in this post! Food planning is not only a necessity, but so much fun for me 🙂 I try to have at least one day a week where I don’t plan a thing, these often end up being the most fun and relaxing! Its important to just let go sometimes, however scary that may be!

  • Hi Belle – its a good question and I think one we need to keep asking ourselves. having un-planned and spontaneous time is really valuable. But I also love plans. i make new years plan rather than resolutions and I like reviewing it, tinkering with the plan, journal writing about the plan and making other plans, and i love planning meals. On the flip side I like a doing nothing weekend at least once a month with no plan and just doing what i feel like. I think both are great and try to keep a balance. I tend to gravitate to a TV show when i have doing nothing time, at the moment it’s criminal minds or i like reading or just enjoying a cuppa sitting in the garden. i can watch the birds and the insects and just look at flowers for a good two hours!

  • Thank you for sharing! This afternoon I am doing mindless, non-hole filling nothing important or planned….and it feels kinda good! I hope you are enjoying the same. ❤️

  • I’m a girl that likes a plan but I recently started meditating and learning to be present. I’ve realised I am so busy moving from achieving one goal and going straight on to the next that I don’t even acknowledge let alone congratulate myself for my achievements. I have realised that I am missing out on half my life. Taking time to pause, reflect and engage fully are helping me to appreciate what a fabulous life I have. One where I definitely don’t need booze.

  • Belle, this hits home. Trying to fill a hole with booze, or shopping, or cleaning – never giving myself permission to just sit and be. So what if there are dust balls under my bed? So what if there is washing in the machine that’s been there for two days? Jesus, we run ourselves ragged, then wonder why the hell we get overwhelmed.

  • I don’t “no nothing” like you describe ever. Not when I was drinking; not since being alcohol free.

    I see the value in relaxing. But I also see value in planning lunch. Food is important to you (and me) not just as nutrition, but as an activity that satisfies our aesthetic needs. And planning it is part of that aesthetic. It doesn’t mean you’re a control freak or unable to relax. It doesn’t mean you’re not spontaneous.

    The examples you cite (tv, magazines, etc.) seem to infer that you need to be mindless to let you brain recharge. (“Flipping” inferred mindlessly turning pages to me)

    I guess I feel being mindful is equally good for the brain but more rewarding than the mindless kind of activity you ask about.

    There’s nothing “wrong” with mindless activities if they make you happy. But there’s nothing “wrong” with being engaged either.

    • to focus on the granular is to miss the whole point of my reflection. my question to myself was: what happens when i stop trying to achieve and direct, even for an afternoon