Writer. Thinker. Strategist. Creative Tight Rope Walker.

Doing More than Nothing

Maybe it’s being in my early 40s or it might be that actually more movies are being made about figuring out where you are in life and the whole mid-life ‘holy shit’ what have I done with myself now that half my life is behind me, but it’s been on the brain. It could also be the fact that family are having health issues and recent events remind me just how short our existence really is and why it’s important to not waste what little time there really is…..

Watching this movie “Greenburg” with Ben Stiller the other night hit home — he was so proud that he was going to spend awhile just doing nothing — maybe build a dog house for his brother’s family dog or have an awkward and uncaring relationship with another lost soul but other than that do nothing. When he tells another character, she says, “Wow, that’s brave, especially for someone our age.” His character was turning 41 and he was trying to convince his friend to get back to making music after he ruined their chances at a record deal while they were in their 20s. Okay, so I’m telling a lot of the plot, but you could see the regrets and the sense of feeling lost.

Now that I’m in my 40s, I get that — not that I’m lost myself — if anything, I’ve finally got my shit together and have a plan not of action but already in action that is unfolding beautifully. Satisfaction and happiness — yeah, that blog about my happiness train was just part of that social experiment as my Glee train is chugging down the tracks nicely. Finally sure of what I want to do as a grown up. But, that has taken a lot of work to get to where I am in my thinking and belief. And, it’s not like I can sit on my ass and go, yeah, i’m there. Nope. Life is constant movement and depots of crap that have to be addressed before the train pulls out and moves on. I get that it’s all a process.

Yet, I could see myself in the 20 somethings that sat around Ben Stiller’s character at a party, sometimes laughing with him but mostly laughing at him as he was trying to reminisce back to his party days. I used to look at people in their 40s and shake my head at their rigidity and stressed out aura, running to their thankless jobs and spending their lives on meaningless endeavors or consumed with their children’s activities. I thought, no way, not me. I’m going to be so chill at that age and be traveling the world.

Now within that age but with a thankful job, I’ve had that stressed out aura and been consumed by my children’s stuff — yet, like Stiller’s character’s best guy friend in the movie, I want and enjoy that immersion in my children’s lives. It brings comfort and order not to mention satisfaction and focus. Beyond that, though, I realize it takes a lot of effort and determination to make doing more than nothing a happy experience.

For those who hate their jobs, their lives, and most often themselves, I don’t have any sympathy. They are in that spot because they aren’t willing to work hard to change it for themselves — it’s almost like some revel in their hatred for others and themselves rather than embrace feeling something that I can only describe as exhilarating and freeing where you are doing something while still making time for those nothing moments that actually mean quite a bit.

Leave a Reply