Self-awareness 101: If I Tell You I’m Doing Nothing, This Is What I Mean

…or maybe you won’t. Who’s to say?

OH MY. Cognitive dissonance. I got it.

The other day I realized that I’ve been saying something that’s not necessarily true.

Yes, that would be me, the one known for telling the truth no matter what.

You see, I keep saying that during these last few months of low-key blogging, aka my Summer Hours, I’ve been doing nothing.

That I’ve been a slug, first class, with honors.

That’s what I tell everyone.

BUT the reality is I’ve been doing many, many things behind the scene here in Chez Bean.  Things that are decidedly not interesting or exciting or worthy of a blog post.

And that last point, I realized in a moment of self-awareness, is how I divide my life now.

After all these years of writing a personal blog.

For the heck of it.

TO WIT, there are personal stories, or topics, that go into this blog and there are personal stories, or topics, that aren’t worth the time to muse upon, let alone type onto this virtual page.

I wish I could tell you that I knew when I started to divide the events in my life thusly, but I cannot.

I just know that’s how I do things.

Now.

And that when I say I’m doing nothing I mean: I’m doing nothing that would interest you so I won’t even mention it.

Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Humorous. Adaptable. Charmingly cynical. Midwestern by chance. Kindhearted by choice. Fond of words.

193 thoughts on “Self-awareness 101: If I Tell You I’m Doing Nothing, This Is What I Mean”

      1. I truly believe that the simple ways we carry out are lives are the stories worth noting. We will not all be “famous” but that doesn’t make our lives less noteworthy. We are all survivors who lived to tell a particular tale. Why not celebrate our individual uniqueness in our own unique way?

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        1. I agree. I write about who I am, not who other people might want me to be. I am a free spirit from the start.

          But I am by nature reserved when it comes to sharing all the details of my life. I enjoy keeping a personal blog but with boundaries… hence my default to saying nothing is going on when I’m doing the things, quietly behind the scenes.

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          1. I get the reserve part. I keep a few things to myself. But sometimes sharing stuff makes others feel less alone, or broadens their perspective or makes them laugh. Then, those little moments are priceless

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  1. Folks may or may not be interested in those activities as they are equally engaged, but regardless you are entitled to non-published “me time.” Bloggers who claim to be “always on” probably aren’t.

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  2. I do that when people ask what I’m doing in retirement. Some things are interesting and some not so much. I’m sure some people thing I’m a slug when in reality I have a very fulfilling life for me. I don’t have fabulous trips to talk about and the weekly trips to the corn crib don’t sound very exciting (but they can be!).

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    1. Kate, you and I live similar lives! I don’t feel compelled to tell all that I do– and most of what I do is probably best left unwritten. But when I say “nothing” I can’t help feel like I’m telling a fib.

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  3. I’m glad you’re not like some people over on Facebook who have nothing to say, but feel they must say something, so they end up posting photos of the blister on their foot or whatever. The worst is when they post how sick they are. When I’m sick, the last thing I do is get on social media. It’s your blog ABean…do want you want.

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    1. Jill, thank you. I try to only talk about subjects and happenings that I think will resonate with my readers because I don’t want to waste anyone’s time with ickiness or vitriol or tedium. Which is what FB seems to be about anymore. Not that I’m there, but that’s what I hear about it. 🙄

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  4. Hmmm, well, our simple tasks can often be something of curiosity or wonder in another part of the world. Mundane to us as we live it, perhaps. I have blathered on my blog on more than one occasion. Your blog, your decisions. Whatever works for you works for me!

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    1. Maggie, thanks for your support. I talk about the small stuff in my blog often enough, I suppose. I’ve no illusions about how NOT dynamic my life is. I’m all about the details in life, but I guess I feel that not all of my details need be written– or at least at this point in my blogging career.

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    1. Deb, you raise a great point. When the weather is good I want to be outside doing the things, not sitting in front of a screen. But in a way I feel like I’m lying when I say I’m doing nothing. 🤔

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  5. Ditto. Some info might be interesting but is it really meant for the world wide web. I don’t think so. So, keep some stuff to yourself and know I’m doing the same. 🙂 Good to hear from you and know all is well, at least as well as it can all be right now.

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    1. Judy, you’ve nailed it. I do things that interest me, but I don’t feel compelled to share it all here. But then when I say I’m doing “nothing” I feel like I’m lying. However having now explained myself here, I feel free to say “nothing” and be understood. 😉

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    1. Pam, yes I’ve been doing things [nothing?] that might not be contributing to a svelte me, but this is a weird year so I’m just accepting it. I figure this autumn will be better… right? And then I’ll really have something to talk about here!

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  6. I totally hear what your are saying, Ally. I don’t think people need to hear about every time I take out the garbage or walk Benny and yet, I am doing something. Glad to see you pop up here occasionally anyway, even if it is just to say you’ve been doing “nothing.”

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    1. Janet, I knew you’d get this. I mean, walking your dog is wonderful and I’m happy for you both, but your doing something translates into saying you’re doing “nothing” because it is. Sort of.

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  7. Sometimes it’s not so much what we’re doing or not doing, but rather how we feel about that matters. Therein is the story. You are a wonderful storyteller. Don’t sell yourself short. We’d love to hear whatcha thinking about this crazy time. Be well😊

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    1. Sue, good point. It is about how you feel while you’re doing anything, something, nothing. Tell the story such as it is. I get caught up on overthinking what I’m writing about instead of just writing about it. Thanks for the insight.

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  8. I’ve kept a diary all my life. When I go to write at night, I sometimes think what a dull day. But I will write things down anyway and how I am feeling because years from now when I reread it, it may be interesting. It will also be history for my grandkids to read.
    I love reading your blog. You are always interesting to me😻

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    1. Beth, I admire your ability to keep track of your days. Mine kind of flow along in a big ole mess. I think you’re right in that your grandkids and their kids will be fascinated by what you did/said/felt.

      I keep this personal blog not as a diary but as a lifestyle newspaper column wherein I focus on one thing to see what people will say about it. A less detailed look at my life, I guess.

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  9. I generally don’t believe anything going on in my life is interesting. Some friends claim it is but it’s awfully hard to be motivated to write when it bores even me. I am reading a lot and eventually I’m going to try – again – to write about some of what I’m reading and why.

    Write what you want. Write about what interests you. We will follow along because you are an entertaining and interesting writer whether you’re writing about the crazy bird lady or the daisies in your backyard.

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    1. Zazzy, I feel somewhat the same way as you do about what is interesting in my life. I think you nailed it with how it is difficult to be motivated to write about something that bores me.

      I do follow my own muse here, talking about an eclectic variety of things, like crazy bird lady… who has changed her ways… sort of. Funny how you remember her.

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  10. I’m with you, Bean. I am doing “next to nothing” . . . happily. Most of “it” is entertaining, amusing, pleasant for me, but not something that I feel like writing about (except in the most generic sense).

    In a nutshell, I’ve been:
    Exercising.
    Clutter Busting.
    Organizing.
    Reading books.
    Sorting.
    Watching movies.
    Cooking.
    Planning.
    Etc.

    But I’ve not been doing much Blogging. 😀

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    1. Nancy, with the exception of watching movies I’ve been doing the same things as you have. I’m happy and content with my life, but there’s not much to write about right now. And that’s okay.

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    1. Carol, well said. I agree with you and while I may say I’m doing “nothing” the reality is that I’m doing things that you’re not going to know about. It’s allowed [and encouraged] I do believe.

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  11. I always enjoy your posts Ally. Even though you might think you have nothing to write about, you have a way with words and your topics are always interesting and thought-provoking……or at least relateable to the rest of us doing nothing!

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    1. Joni, you said well: ” you have a way with words and your topics are always interesting and thought-provoking……or at least relateable to the rest of us doing nothing!”, I totally agree with you!

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  12. Ally, this COVID season has been a paradigm shift for me in that the definition of what’s “interesting” has changed. Now even the most mundane-sounding activities are considered interesting in the wake of so many horrifying events. So if you’re doing your laundry or repotting plants, I want to hear about it!

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    1. L. Marie, you make an interesting point about the paradigm shift. You’re right, anything anyone talks about that is not about disease or the election is a good topic of conversation. Had not thought of that before.

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  13. I’ve discovered(as I’m sure you have as well) that many boring stories to me are interesting to my readers. They provide a slice of my life and a window into my world and activities. I find “this and that” posts the most fascinating because they capture our daily (often humdrum) existence. I love reading about what others are doing, from the small to the large!

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    1. Margaret, yes, you’re right. I have discovered that what I consider boring [or silly] in my life often morphs into popular blog posts. It is, like you said, all about the glimpse into someone else’s life and realities. I need to stop overthinking what I do here. 🙄

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    1. Natalie, you are right, I have been thinking overtime since the pandemic has become a 24/7 variable in my daily life. Thinking is doing. I just feel like I’m lying when I say that I’m doing nothing, even though I am doing things– just not things I write about here on this blog.

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    1. Marian, I don’t want to lie when I find myself saying that I’m doing nothing– when I’m doing something. BUT I also don’t want to be tedious, relating all the little somethings I’m doing. It’s a conundrum.

      And yes, you make a good point. Some of my most popular blog posts were ones about the inconsequential. Because everyone could relate to it.

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  14. I would read about you doing the laundry and it would be fascinating.
    MUCH better than the stuff I read on facebook (not giving it the capital letter it doesn’t deserve, remember?) when I did my time there.
    I think as each week gets more and more dismal, I might write about things such as what bra color I am wearing this week.
    Oh wait, I am not supposed to be wearing bras any more.
    Or is it anymore?
    There is another blog post subject.
    Will save for January.
    I just love reading whatever it is you write. Just don’t ever stop.

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    1. Kari, made me laugh on this one. I’ve yet to write about doing laundry, but it could happen. This has been a long year and any topic is a possibility at this point. I’ll think on that.

      I’m not sure if we’re allowed to admit to wearing bras now that we are supposed to be at home all the time. It seems incongruous. I look forward to your in-depth analysis of this issue in January.

      Thanks for the compliment. I’ll keep writing until I write no more, I suppose. Think of that as a koan, please.

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        1. Janet, isn’t that wonderful and encouraging! I write about all sorts of things and am often surprised by what resonates. I just worry that by saying I’m doing nothing, a pat response, I’m misleading people. I do things, just not all of those things make it to these virtual pages.

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    1. Susan, thanks. I enjoy writing here about stuff that happens in my life, but today I got caught up in thinking about whether I’m lying when I say I’m doing nothing… when I’m actually doing something… that I don’t think is worth blogging about… so it is nothing. 🙃

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  15. Interesting post, Ally (as always, actually). But isn’t this what we all do when we get that omnipresent query, “How are you?” doesn’t it generally depend upon who’s asking, how much time we have, and other points not having much to do with how we actually are? Which gets me to wondering, How are you?

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    1. Janet, yes, yes. You summed up the conundrum. It does depend on who is asking the question as to how much personal info I want to divulge. I say I’m doing nothing because explaining what my nothing is would be too involved.

      In answer to your question: I am fine and dandy. About as happy as a person can be while a pandemic swirls around me and political unrest foments outside of my control. All-in-all things are good here, but boring.

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      1. You might enjoy the response a co-worked of mine used to rely upon when asked the inevitable How Are You? “Unbelievable!” he would say, varying his inflection, depending upon his mood. But never more than that. He loved it.

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  16. But. I have found that the most ordinary things can be so extraordinary. Truly. Most of “life” is ordinary, but looking at it through your own eyes – and words – that’s what makes it extraordinary to your readers. Truly. I love each of your posts, because they come from YOU – not because they’re amazing activities/achievements/successes or failures.
    So. there. 🙂

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    1. Pam, thanks for your support. I take your point. We each experience the small things in our own ways so why not share those points of view. I get lost in my head, especially while being at home almost 24/7 with plenty of time to overthink. When I’m doing more things outside the house I get in a groove of writing about that energy– and that’s easier for me than this current lifestyle.

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    1. Marty, I know what you mean. If you asked me what was new right now I’d say: “I ordered a new bedspread the other day.” Now who care about that? No one except my husband and I, so I just say “nothing” because… 🥱

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  17. Ali- I suffer from open-bookness, so I tend to overshare. Thus all the people have fake names. Still, there are plenty of topics that I assume are boring. When I started blogging I think I wrote specific stories. Life here does often tend to turn into chair and entertainment but I try to steer clear of the really mundane too.

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    1. Ernie, I think you’re right that we all can only write about what is going on in our lives, but there’ve been many times this year when nothing is happening here. Well, nothing that lends itself to being a blog story.

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  18. Although you have a talent to make the ordinary interesting (and often very funny), I agree that not everything needs to be shared. Maybe that’s the difference between those who blog 4 – 7 days a week (or more) and those who pick and choose what to blog about. Personally, I prefer those who don’t feel the need to write about every little thing.

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    1. Janis, you raise a good point that I hadn’t thought about when I wrote this. There’s a difference between having the goal of daily (or almost daily) posting, and having the goal to write something when so moved by your life. I’m the latter, hence my reluctance to talk about every little thing. Interesting insight.

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    1. Deborah, thank you. I just felt that I was being dishonest when I said I was doing nothing when I am doing things, but then realized I say I’m doing nothing because I don’t want to talk about the boring things I’m doing. Not sure that any of this needed to be said, but I said it. Oh yes I did.

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  19. Don’t we all try to judge to some degree what may or may not interest others? Likely it depends upon who reads another persons blog. I think you win some, you lose some but you never get it right every time (you not being the personal “you” Ally Bean-I’m just generalizing to the majority of bloggers). It’s all too easy to run a topic into the ground these days though, and quite frankly I trust your judgement implicitly when it comes to what will interest me on your blog.

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    1. Deb, you flatter me. Thank you. I agree with you in that we all try to judge what’ll be of interest to our readers, but who knows? I also agree, so much, that some bloggers run a topic into the ground and I lose interest. Nice people, but too focused on a narrow topic. Variety and sincerity are what make a personal blog intriguing and fun.

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  20. Well the things that excite us these days, we likely would have rolled our eyes at a year ago. At least you have accomplished some clutter control and organization early in the lockdown as I recall from your prior blog posts. I am still waiting for that inspiration to hit me. 🙂

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    1. Linda, you said it. That which is exciting now was mundane a year ago. I’ve continued to declutter and organize around here, btw. I wouldn’t say I’ve been obsessed with doing it but I’m making progress. Little by little. That’s my approach. May inspiration find you when the time is right for you.

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      1. I think that will be my number one project when I am retired Ally. I will devote the first Winter months to doing so. I am sure Marie Kondo would be appalled and say “surely everything in this house does not bring you joy!”

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          1. I agree with you Ally – I had never heard of Marie Kondo until Joni and/or Shelley did a blog post about her. I’ve always been a saver, not a thrower, but I often wonder how two additional adults and a bird lived here when I now live alone and have perpetual clutter? 🙂 Part of my clutter problem is my reluctance to part with my work wardrobe. When I was laid off, then hired back and started working from home in 2011, I didn’t need to get dressed up anymore. I used to love getting dressed up for work – shopping for clothes and accessories was a hobby. So many times I have looked longingly at those clothes and wished I had returned to a traditional workplace and gotten more enjoyment out of them. I suppose once I retire, they can go – but I was not raised to be wasteful, so I just cannot bring myself to part with these things. So what is the age to give them up? I guess when I know I’ll never return to the grind of a traditional on-site job again.

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            1. I relate to this. I’ve kept clothes way too long, thinking I *might* wear them again. For me the turning point was when I changed my hairstyle + color. Suddenly the old clothes looked dated + were too bright for my natural longer graying hair. Voila! I gave most of the clothes to Goodwill with my blessings.

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              1. Well I look at some of the clothes, especially the dresses and know I will not fit into them again. Sadly, those days of straight skirts are gone and I’m 64 now – those outfits are too young for me. But still they languish in there. The first law firm we had a dress code, with no pants, even pantsuits. The second law firm had no dress code (except no blue jeans – colored or white jeans were fine). I started buying pantsuits and long skirts to wear with slouch boots and when my boss/I left the firm and we went out on our own, I started getting more casual clothes as we had no dress code at all … so here are three types of wardrobes and I don’t even wear the casual items now. I really have become lazy about getting dressed up. I have been getting my hair done with highlights/lowlights for several years and went 3X/year. Since I missed my April appointment due to lockdown and was reluctant to go in July, (or even now), I’ve decided to just forego it for good. I’m not really that gray and have light brown hair … I cut my own hair (and it looks it). I didn’t do the long layers like she does, just whacked a good chunk off the bottom as it was too long. In my opinion, once it hits mid-October, I’ll be in a hat anyway and I’ll figure out what to do when the hat comes off next April. 🙂

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  21. For the life of me I can’t figure you how you get so many comments before you show up in my blog feed. It must be a WordPress vs Bloggers issue.

    Anyway, I say I’m not doing anything all the time and it usually means what I’m doing is so boring that even I don’t want to know about it.

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    1. Jean R., you know I have the same thing happen with some of the blogs I follow, too. I get a notification that there is a new post, go there immediately, and find that there are comments galore. I don’t get it either. I am on WP but there must be some time delay as to when I get notified of new posts– but only on some blogs. 🤷‍♀️

      I hear ‘ya about doing boring things. I say ‘nothing’ because I don’t want to bore anyone with my tedium.

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    1. Akilah, I remember the Slice of Life Challenges. Are they no more? You’re right of course in that there’s always something to write about, but putting a post together about something I don’t care about is too much work for me. I need to be inspired to write what I do here, even if it seems like flapdoodle to someone else to me it has to have meaning.

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  22. Well, when I began blogging, I lived by one ‘rule’ — “If I don’t have anything to say, I won’t say it.”. Then, I added this word to the wise reader: “I want my blog to be personal, but not confessional.”

    With those two guidelines in place, I’ve written about quite a variety of things that interest me, and haven’t written about other, equally interesting things. In fact, some of the most interesting events in my life never will see the light of day on my blog because they’re nobody else’s business. When I write about the ordinary tasks of my daily life — laundry, mending, cooking — I use those tasks as entry points for a larger discussion, not as an end in themselves.

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    1. shoreacres, I adhere to similar principles as your blogging rules. On my about page I say that I write on a variety of topics in a myriad of ways. I don’t say that I’ll be telling all here because like you said, this is not confessional. Nor is it a diary.

      I, too, take the small things that happen in my life and use them as a starting point for my posts. When I started blogging in 2004 a friend who was a therapist said to me that by taking my specifics and turning them into universals I’d write good posts that’d resonate with readers. Her advice was spot on– and helped me get the feel for blogging.

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  23. I like what L. Marie said. My husband is a ham radio operator who communicates daily with other radio amateurs. Since they are all more or less still in quarantine and pretty much “doing nothing” all day, it is entertaining to hear about the seemingly mundane things they’ve been up to since the day before. The other day, while video-chatting with my sister-in-law, I found myself excitedly telling her that I had cleaned my kitchen last week! (We had a good laugh about that weird news item, but it had seemed like quite the accomplishment at the time.) For sure, doing nothing has taken on a whole new meaning these days!

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    1. Barbara, you said it. Doing nothing is now more or less the norm. I bet it’s a hoot to overhear what the ham radio operators are talking about now. Even though I’m an introvert I want to be social at times because that’s where I often get my blog fodder. But instead I do things at home that seem like nothing to me. Now where’s the story in that?

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  24. Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns said, “There are no ordinary lives.” It’s my favourite quote, and I wholeheartedly agree with him.

    However, like a documentary, I like a blog to take touchpoints of Life and use them as catalysts. That’s what I try to do. In that way, the mundane becomes extraordinary.

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    1. nance, that’s exactly how I envision what I write about here. I take the small specifics and turn them into universals. Of course that’s when I see something worth writing about. And therein is my conundrum: I say nothing is happening which is literally a lie, but I mean nothing is happening that I want to focus on. And if I don’t focus, there will be no posts.

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  25. You know what, as long as you enjoy, or at least tolerate, this version of nothing that you keep doing, then it should be okay. Curious though, sometimes what we find uninteresting is interesting to others.

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    1. Markus + Micah, I am not unhappy to be doing my version of nothing right now because I am healthy because of it. You’re right though, what I think might be uninteresting [or sillly] sometimes starts the best conversations here on this blog. 🤷‍♀️

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        1. That’s the term for it, isn’t it? Lockdown fatigue. I’m mellow by nature but too much time at home without socializing has worn me out. Made me feel dull. Still we are disease-free and that’s a good thing.

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  26. I have just recently found your blog and so far, I always find your posts interesting. I enjoy your style and appreciate the time you take. Thank you!

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    1. Ellen D, thank you! It’s kind of you to say this and I appreciate it. I like to write this blog but now that we’re not doing much out in the world it’s more difficult to find something to write about. Sometimes nothing is just nothing!

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  27. Always love to hear from you Ally Bean! Like you, life has been busy & hectic, although at times I couldn’t even tell you why! Hope you are well & happy & safe!🤗😘💕

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    1. Lynn, thanks for stopping by to comment. We are healthy and grateful for it. I do things but just not things I feel are worthy of writing about here. HOWEVER when something interesting happens you know I’ll write about it here. Stay safe, be well. ❤️

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  28. Once my parents retired, they used to say “I don’t know what I do all day long, but I’m really busy.” And they were happily out it.
    I’d rather read occasion posts someone writes when they feel like it – sharing something cool or what has been discovered or what is astute or hilarious observation – rather than a constant stream of FB-type “oversharing ’cause I have to look good or worthy or enlightened or impressive”. (And let’s not forget all the vicious words and anger all over – that’s even seeping into WP)
    It’s good to live a life – away from screens. Stuff is happening – funny stuff that makes you smile – and that is nothing to walk away from.

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    1. philmouse, early on with this blog I decided that it wouldn’t be a daily diary. I write when I want to and generally do best when I show up weekly. I’m sure my goal has never been to impress anyone. Why would I? To what end?

      I agree with you that time away from the screens is important. Mine is filled with doing things, but I don’t necessarily think that writing about those things is worth the effort. Thus I say I’m doing nothing, which is kind of a lie, kind of the truth.

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  29. This post sums up what I didn’t recognize about how I view events — or non-events as it were — in my daily life. Much just doesn’t seem worth writing about. Even in my journal. Ha! Good to know it’s a real thing. I think I’ll go do more nothing, now…

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    1. Natine, I hadn’t thought about this dichotomy before either. Then it dawned on me that when I say I’m doing ‘nothing’ I mean I’m doing nothing worth mentioning. Don’t know if that makes me liar but I’m comfortable saying what I do.

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    1. Betsy, it was a weird moment when I realized that what I say isn’t actually the truth, but the reason I say it is because I’m doing such dull things. We all say doing nothing but what do we really mean?

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  30. I can relate to this. Sometimes when colleagues ask me what I’m doing on the week-end, or what I did on the week-end just past, I just tell them I’m catching up on sleep. It’s simple and doesn’t need further explanation, and usually there are no further questions. It’s also better than listing out all the little things I’m doing / have done, which are unlikely to be interesting 🙂

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    1. Pistachios, that is a great answer. It’s truthful and answers the question politely. I feel like I’m lying when I say “nothing” yet, like you said, I don’t want to list the little uninteresting things I’ve done. Thanks for this idea.

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  31. And then there’s that other category, things that my readers might find interesting, but I cannot write about, aka, other people’s business. Most especially my daughter, but not only her life. Sigh. The blog suffers for real life loyalty.

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    1. JJ, yes, I’m with you there, too. I won’t tell someone else’s story. Not my place to do so, although many personal bloggers do it. “Real life loyalty” is a great way to phrase it.

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  32. I know what you mean, Ally. After five month of staying at home, barely leaving the house, I find it harder than usual to think of something interesting to say. A little trip now and then provides not only something new to think about and talk about but also some pictures to share. On the other hand, I feel as though I’m very busy.

    I like the little drawing at the end of your post. Is it something you did?

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    1. Nicki, I want to be here but when nothing much is happening, what is there to say? I didn’t realize how much I relied on random conversations with people to prompt me to think about things, then write them here. Now I know.

      I didn’t draw the last image, but I did make the first one using Canva.com!

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  33. I imagine you and my other blogging friends as people with rich lives that include a lot of things that are non-interesting or interesting only to us. Or things that we want to keep to ourselves, while other things we want to talk endlessly about. But it’s interesting how we can start to divide up our lives between blogging and non-blogging categories. When I’m not blogging my thoughts think that there’s nothing happening in my life, and that’s simply not true. When I am blogging my thoughts sometimes want to write about everything! but that’s not necessarily true either. I get a kick from coming over to your blog and seeing what you’ve chosen to write about.

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    1. Kathy, I’d never thought about how I’ve come to divide my life into that which is blog-worthy and that which is never going to make it into this blog. For the reasons you mention. Then I got wondering am I lying when I say “nothing” is going on? No real answer, more of a rhetorical question.

      I’m pleased you take the time to read what I write about here. I appreciate your comments and point of view. Thank you.

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  34. I don’t know you well (in internet terms), but it’s hard to picture you as a slug, in any class. And I’m thinking that some of that behind the scenes stuff will emerge up front, sooner or later. I think that’s how it works. Usually. (Feeling extra sure and decisive this morning.)

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    1. ritaramstad, I think you’re onto to something with the idea that behind the scenes stuff does eventually make for something to write about. For all of us. Plus I don’t write every day here, so I’m more inclined to only write about something when I feel the muse. Lately muse has been on vacay!

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  35. I think you should spread the word to others on social media platforms that we don’t need to know their EVERY thought. 🙂
    I love your blog, and all the more because you don’t feel compelled to put something on it no matter what. You blog because you “have something to say” and not because you “have to say something.” Beautiful and always worthwhile.

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    1. Arlene, you flatter me. I’m blushing here. I do try to be here ONLY when I have something to say, no matter how silly or serious it might be.

      When I began blogging in 2004 I was a daily blogger which was a lot and it took the joy out of personal blogging for me. But you’re right there are bloggers who post daily, sharing every little thought they have… Bless their hearts. 😉

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    1. Swinged Cat, I hadn’t thought of that angle. While I appreciate your ingenious idea, I don’t see myself, at this time, as a person who has a coffee shop. BUT if I ever do open one I’ll call it Chez Bean. Thanks for the idea.

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  36. Hi ally, it is so true that when people say they are not doing anything — they really are still doing things –
    and I think the thought you put into your posts pays off – for as long as I have been following you I find that you really have the gift of engaging your readers.
    also, I thought of you last month – and it might not be in a way that you expected
    you see – a while back – I remember a time when you write a post and shared something about not really feeling in the mood and how you came back to be consistent for the followers – something like that.
    What spoke to me at the time was someone who cared about the blog enough to take time off but to also maintain something that was thriving and took time to build —
    well during the summer I had taken my much needed blog break. I used to take off whole summers and might start doing that again.
    anyhow, when i felt it was time to come back – it was not happening easily – I had just gotten into a new mode

    and that was when I recalled your sharing – and the bit of discipline you showed “by showing up” because you valued what you had here on WP. —
    I know there are times that people cannot peel away and they are not fresh because they cannot do it – so that is not what i am talking.
    I just sensed healthiness and because you shared the bit of effort it took – it ended up modeling that for me –
    and isn’t; that how life often circles around –
    🙂

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    1. Yvette, you flatter me. I’m blushing here to know that you remember what I said back then and that it influenced you positively now. I often forget that no matter what we do we impact one another in different ways, at different times. I try to be a catalyst for doing good, not provoking anger.

      I used to take August off each year, but this summer I decided to go to a reduced posting schedule because we are still at home most of the time. I figured it’d give me something to do and I could show up here with something to say, although this particular post might not be a great example of that.

      The issue I wrestle with when it comes to personal blogging is: if I am to maintain this blog I need to set a schedule for me because that’s who I am [conscientious], while at the same time I don’t want to waste any reader’s time with drivel [mindful]. Most of the time I can balance those two ideas, but there are days/weeks when I wonder what the heck I’ll talk about now. Still I write on. 🙄

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      1. Hi Ally – I sometimes marvel at how selective we humans are with our memories – and the highlighter that changes each day as we see the world (and that inattentional blindness) and so I when I forget a post I made last fall – and go back to it — I am like “how could I forget that?” –
        and to the mix of conscientiousness and mindfulness — let’s add grounded-ness –
        because it does seem like you here to contrite and make your mark in the way that only ally bean can – 🙂

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        1. Selective memory is right. I do the same thing, I read something I wrote a few years ago and am amazed that I said what I said. Usually amazed in a good way, that is.

          Grounded-ness is something I strive for in my life. Didn’t always think that was important but now I do. Part of aging gracefully I figure.

          Hope you holiday weekend is fun. Thanks for commenting here, I always love to hear from you.

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  37. I’m doing a lot of “behind the scenes” work that I don’t have the energy to talk about because by the time I’m done with it, I don’t want to get back into it by chatting about it. So I tend to say I’m not doing anything when I guess I’m doing a lot! Happy Labor Day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kate, I get that. I’m the same way. I do things, many things, but to talk about what I’m doing isn’t all worth the effort. Hope your holiday is [was?] a good one.

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  38. Blogging isn’t about sharing every single thing we do in our lives, it’s about sharing what we want to share of it. The rest – well, there’s Facebook! (Which I’m happy to say I no longer use as not only don’t I like to share that much about myself, but I don’t care much for reading the minutae of other people’s lives, either. Stick with what suits you, Ally, it’s the best way. x

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    1. Val, thanks. I agree with you. I don’t want to share every little thing of my life nor do I want to be on FB where that is the done thing. Minutiae is right! I write what I can here, but I do sometimes feel like I’m lying when I say *nothing* is happening when I’m doing things, just things I’d rather not bother writing about.

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  39. I read your title, Ally, and I am immediately curious where you are going with this. Ahhh, I get it. Blogging came up recently in a conversation with another blogger (no one else cares). The question was how often do I blog? Whenever I feel I have something to say and share. I like when we make our own rules.

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    1. Erica/Erika, I agree. My blog, my rules! I write when the spirit moves me– or when something I consider interesting happens. I try to be here on Tuesdays, but that doesn’t always happen and I’m ok with that. I’ve blogged for a long time so I trust my own groove, I guess.

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  40. I get it Ally. My main blog has been dormant for months. I know there is a lot going on in my life – a multitude of projects and interests that have captured my time and attention – but I just don’t feel like writing about them. I too am at a loss to answer someone who asks what I’ve been doing. I’ve just been busy doing Joanne-stuff … the stuff I do when I retreat from the world. Move along – nothing to see here 🙂

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    1. Joanne, yes, yes! I have that same “move along– nothing to see here” feeling. I do stuff, lots of things, but as for writing about them, not worth the effort. We both are fortunate in that we don’t frame our blogs as daily ones, so we can mosey in & out at will.

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  41. I totally understand this and I enjoyed how you presented it to us. BUT, I know that deep down, you could write about the nothing special happening in your days and STILL make it enjoyable for us, the readers who enjoy your wit. Ally, I need you to be a giver.
    But only if you want to. Which I’m lead to believe is not what you want to do at this time, so damn.

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    1. Suz, thanks for the compliments. I like writing this blog but will admit that August is not my best month. I’m allergic to every little thing outside my window and pretty much grumble my way through the month. I’ll get back into my blogging groove soon, once I don’t get itchy every time I go outside for a walk. Stupid pollen…

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  42. I totally understand this. I feel like I wrote more often at the beginning of my blogging, but that was because I needed an outlet for those thoughts. Now life has shifted. I still like to share things on my blog, but sometimes there’s nothing of note to share or things not ready to be shared.

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    1. Amy, I did the same thing as you did. At the beginning I had LOTS to say and did so. But now I’m over that blogging phase + with this stay at home lifestyle, I have less to say. I want to be here, of course– but I gotta have something to talk about.

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