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Linda Barrett

Linda Barrett

Linda Barrett

Starting Over ~ Wasting Time or Recharging?

LEAVE ME ALONE!     file951258260864

When my oldest son was about thirteen years old, I found him lying on his bed, staring at the ceiling, hands behind his head. His knees were bent and one leg crossed over the other. The afternoon light penetrated the room. I couldn’t stand it.

“What are you doing?”

“Mom! Can’t I just do nothing for awhile? I never get to do nothing.”

Well, that gave me pause. Fair enough.  As  working mom, I’d made sure my kids were programmed from morning til night, particularly after school. Between homework, bar-mitzvah classes, a newspaper route, and a basketball team, my son may have had a point. So I said, “Okay. Let me know when you’re ready to return to the world.”

That little incident has stayed with me, and I’ve sometimes repeated it when friends talk about kids and their activities. I’ve learned that my generation was not the first to program their kids. From what I can gather, my son was lucky. Kids today don’t have a minute to daydream.  Between soccer, dancing, music, gymnastics, scouts, Little League, clubs….there is a team or a class for every age, every stage and every wage. Classes cost. file0001683376869

Another dream deferred...until now?

Another dream deferred…until now?

We want to give our children everything. Or at least, as much as we possibly can afford. But I wonder if what they most need is time. A free commodity. Which will allow dreams to flourish, creativity to develop, and the mind and body to rest and rejuvenate. Even children need peace of mind. I’m glad some others think like I do:

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”   ….John Lubbock.

My dreamtime occurs in the early morning hours, before my eyes open, before my brain is fully engaged. In that delicious time between sleeping  and waking, my mind drifts to the stories I’m writing, and I usually solve a problem. It drifts to this blog, and a new topic that might interest me. I dream about my own mother and father and miss them to tears. During my dreamtime hours, my mind is free to wander. It conjures up images I didn’t know I had inside me. I love those moments because something good usually results from them. When I actually get out of bed, I’m not only refreshed, but I can’t wait to get to the computer.

Ladies First Choice

Ladies First Choice in Clearwater, FL

We need time to reconnoiter with ourselves. I found the quote from John Lubbock printed in a newsletter from Ladies First Choice, a “stylish ladies boutique” for women who’ve had mastectomies. Women who know that “rest is not a waste of time.” Rest is mandatory for healing and becoming whole again. That’s right. A whole woman–in mind, body and spirit. The breast is not the person. While fighting for our lives, our dreams are laced with nightmares. When we regain our health, our minds can rest.

An active life deserves time for thinking and daydreaming.  Just ask my busy son. Who still fights for a moment to do “nothing.”

What about you? Are there times of the day that are natural dream hours for you?  Do you close yourself away from the family for awhile each day? Refuse to answer the phone?

As always, thanks so much for stopping by. I hope to see you for the next edition of Starting Over when I’ll announce the winner of the July contest.



LEAVE A COMMENT AND YOUR NAME WILL BE ENTERED INTO MY JULY CONTEST. Prizes are a choice of two books from the selection below, written by the authors of On Fire Fiction. Plus a $25 gift certificate to Amazon or BN.  Remember, some of these stories are hot, hot, hot while others….not so much.  Your choice!

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14 thoughts on “Starting Over ~ Wasting Time or Recharging?

  1. I work at least 50 hours a week so I definitely have my dream time. The first hour after I get home from work is my “leave me alone” time. It is my way to relax and separate myself from my work. After that hour I am ready for family time. During my hour I may read or watch a show that I had DVR’d but not yet watched.

    • Gosh, Teresa. I love how you worked that out and trained your “housemates” to respect your special time. Fifty hours is a hefty work week, so good for you!


  2. I love to day dream especially in the late afternoon. It is my “nap time”. It refreshes me. I can day dream about places I would like to go or things I would like to do. I also think of people past and present that I would like to spend time with. I remember as a kid lying on my back or sitting in a lawn chair watching clouds and seeing animals or faces in them. I still do this when I am riding in a car on a long trip. It lets me float away too!

    • Cloud pictures! I still do that too, especially as a passenger in a car. I heartily approve of nap times. On occasion, I find myself nodding off in the afternoon, but I never really fall asleep. I think we all find a way to get that dreamtime in whether it’s naps, or early mornning slow wake-ups or taking a long walk like Roz does. Sometimes, my showers can be overlong! Thanks for posting, Diane.


  3. Linda, You need to write a book called: The Art Of Doing Nothing. For someone like me who needs to be busy every minute of every day while I’m awake, and I’m not good at sleeping—doing nothing is a luxury. But it should be something we teach kids that it’s okay to do. The closest I get to doing nothing, which is where my brain can float free and think up new things, is my morning walk. And sometimes I know my brain is taking advantage when I notice I’ve walked farther than usual.
    Maybe as moms we have our kids doing so many things because we look at the array of what’s available and think how lucky they are to have so many options, so many choices. But I think everyone does need down time. Great words of wisdom in your post as usual. Roz

    • I’d be as good at writing that book as you are! Except for those dreamtime minutes or an hour, I have to be doing something all the time too, or I think I’m wasting time. It’s awful We both should be retired by now. But we’re not. We’re writing books, blogs and meeting new neighbors! With out kids, I wanted them scheduled with after-school activities for safety’s sake. I didn’t get home til 5 or 5:30. Glad to see you, Roz.


  4. I appreciated your beautiful, well written and thoughtful post today. It resounded with me. I believe in time to relax, recoup and consider life. I never overscheduled my children. I did not believe in overdoing anything, whether it was exposure to activities, or pushing them into sports that were trendy but not suitable for them. I enjoyed the quote by John Lubbock since it is true, real and valid. Rest heals and is important especially when dealing with a serious illness. That has been my credo for my entire life. Too few subscribe to this. Thanks for your wise words and wonderful posts. When I am still and pondering my late mother I feel sad but know that life goes on and I have plenty still to accomplish. When I have a minute I unwind, and that is when my creative ideas are formed.

    • Hi Sharon — My mom followed a policy of “everything in moderation.” She lived a thoughtful life, mostly on an even keel. But that was her personality. We’re all different. Nevertheless, I think we all need time to dream. Thanks for contributing to the conversation. And thanks for the kind words about the piece.


  5. I day dream while I walk. I just let my mind drift. It’s relaxing & I get all sorts of things sorted in my mind.

    • HI Mary — Walking seems to be the key for a lot of people. I think Roz said the same thing. A regular walk turns into a l-o-n-g walk when daydreaming. And the mind does take a rest, and we get revived. Thanks so much for posting.

  6. my kids are teens and I mourn their lack of free time for thinking/daydreaming almost every day. how i’d love to find one of them in their room staring at the ceiling! nowadays they’d have some kind of electronic device: itouch, iphone, ipod…they don’t even know they need quiet. as for me, i’m always daydreaming–love it! 🙂

    • Hi Deb — You’re not the first to bemoan all the electronic devices that have ensnared our kids. Like you, I think they really don’t know how to relax and just be. Maybe they’ll figure it out later. In the meantime, enjoy your dreamtime! Thanks for writing.

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