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much ado about nothing

          As luck would have it, this year Columbus Day, a day which Posties get to have off, while the rest of the rational world works, fell on a Monday, which was just after the Thursday of our Postmaster’s meeting, and it so happened that my ever valiant, capable and willing replacement Betty wanted to work, so after attending the six hour garroting that is our annual convocation I had Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday off.  I was free, free, free!! for the next four days. I fully intended to spend my time squirreling away firewood and getting it covered up, putting the finishing touches on my siding and generally getting my outdoor duties squared away before winter. I even had a list. As it turns out, my list was trumped by that of The Universe, The Goddess of Nothing or whatever powers-that-be you care to believe in, for promptly upon my return from the bacchanalia that is our annual p.m. meeting, complete with charts and graphs covering (lack of) revenue generation, helpful hints concerning the proper completion of forms and the resurgent need for honing our rubber-stamping skills, it began to snow.

           Snow, snow, snow and more snow. I’m sure that there is an Indian Summer in store for us, so I’ll get my chores done in the fullness of time, but in this fullness of time, I’ve been catching up on doing nothing. I’ve been so busy in the last … well, forever, now that I think about it … that I’ve neglected to do nothing for quite some time. Since the snow-enforced suspension of outdoor assignments, I’ve done quite a bit of nothing, but I don’t think I’m done yet. There is more of nothing yet to be done. Yesterday I spent a good chunk of the day sitting and observing the snow fall. I got the necessaries done; I walked the dogs (I’m being visited by a dog and a cat who normally spend their time bossing around some friends of mine, but for a couple of weeks they’ve elected to boss me around whilst their humans are away), I chopped such firewood as would get me through the night, I … um… what is it, exactly that I did? The world didn’t end, so it seems I got the necessaries done, but I also spent a significant number of hours doing nothing. Absolutely nothing. I wasn’t doing the laundry while accomplishing nothing, mind you, nor was I simmering a marinara sauce on the stove while ostensibly doing nothing. I did nothing. Nothing at all. Well, I rocked in my rocking chair, but I do think that qualifies as nothing, at least as long as you aren’t, like a specialist in nothingness, like the Dalai Lama or someone for whom nothingness is a living, I mean. I rocked and I looked. For hours.

          For me, that was quite an accomplishment. I don’t expect to approach the great achievements in nothingness of the Dalai Lama of course, much less those of the cat and dogs which currently spend a good 18-20 hours a day draped around the house doing nothing naturally, like the experts in their field which they are, but I’m hoping to score a personal best by finishing out my long, long weekend without accomplishing anything of note. Oh, I’ll read, I’ll watch old DVDs of Jeeves and Wooster, I’ll hang a curtain or two, and I’ll even write a letter or talk to a friend on the phone, but my primary occupation will be nothing. I’ve been trying to figure out how to throw in a zinger observation which would tie this little essay all together with a nugget of thought-provoking wisdom, but I give up. I have some rocking to do.

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