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A Post About Nothing

NEW YORK, NY – JUNE 18: Jerry Seinfeld visits ‘Late Night With Jimmy Fallon’ at Rockefeller Center on June 18, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

Jerry Seinfeld made a pretty living by creating a “show about nothing.” Just the day-to-day stuff that he and his friends experienced as they went about their daily lives. Unless there was some life-changing event, most of us can’t remember what we were doing one year ago today. I certainly can’t. I’m sure I had problems, concerns, happy thoughts, and fun times but when I try to remember July 26, 2012 I get — nothing.

When Nothing Becomes Something

There are many events in my life that I remember vividly because they were and are something. I remember seeing Bob Hope on Christmas Day 1966 in Vietnam. Have no clue what I was doing the day before or the day after. I remember where I was when John F. Kennedy was assassinated. I have no idea where I was when Bobby Kennedy or Martin Luther King died. I remember where I was when Neil Armstrong made that first step on the moon’s surface. And of course I remember exactly where I was when the planes hit the towers on September 11.

Building Life Experiences

I had some pretty terrific teachers while growing up. It’s not what they taught but how they taught that made the difference. There are many people I’ve crossed paths with who could take some responsibility for who or what I am today. But there are countless others who have vanished from my memory. I don’t mean to imply that those unmemorable people are nothing but their exact contribution eludes me. The fact that I can’t remember them doesn’t diminish their impact. Just demonstrates my poor memory.

We Need Nothing

In one of my very favorite movies, “Office Space,” Peter Gibbons is supposed to work on Saturday and when asked what he was doing instead of working he replied, “I did absolutely nothing.”

The important point is that we need periods in our daily lives where our psyche can rest. We’ve all heard the expression, “Put it out of your mind.” Nothing — is good for us. Nothing — works.

Some Final Thoughts

If there were a take away from this post it would be this. We all make a life out of nothing. And during most of our day we don’t do a lot of memorable things. However, what seems like total chaos when it’s happening in real time is often a symphony of perfection in hindsight.

For example, raising kids is tough, but when you look back when they are adults you see how nothing really became something very special.

We don’t remember each individual day in the classroom but we do remember graduation day. Looking back on long days of nothing that became something. So the next time you are thinking that you should be doing something constructive, just enjoy doing nothing constructive. You need it. Life is a “show about nothing.”

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