Oxymoron: (from the Greek),
an expression with contradictory words: a phrase in which two words of contradictory meaning are used together for special effect
“Are you ready to sleep in and enjoy your first day of Spring break tomorrow?” It’s Friday night and we are driving home from a spur of the moment decision a few hours earlier to go out to eat as a family and attend a Nicole Noredeman concert. The fast food dinner, Piada: Italian Street Food, was a new experience and a most tasty one! My main reason for going out that evening was simply dinner with family; I had initial thoughts of not going, but quickly resolved that I could read a few chapters in my book when the others enjoyed the concert session. The concert being at a church, I sat reading in the foyer and got to text my sister, Megan, as well. An evening satisfactory to all.
My question on the drive home was at a red light; there was enough street lights glowing for me to lip read. Marcia slightly nods but adds, “I think I would rather have a full day of doing nothing than sleeping in all day.” I nod in agreement, but as the fullness of her sentence replays in my brain, I couldn’t help but burst out laughing! “Do you realize that what you just said is a huge oxymoron!!” I continue to rant in laughter about this sentence and we discuss it for a few more minutes until it is dark again. The rest of the drive home, I sit in silence.
“A full day of doing nothing.” Right now, my days sometimes feel like this. It is not that I am actually “doing nothing” all day–more what I am doing is nothing planned on my agenda. I am notorious for daily to do lists…there are days when I see great progress and check marks on the sheet of paper; other days, I simply cross off the current ‘day” and set the next in hopes to complete the projects then. I don’t think it is necessarily bad to make lists (I would forget important events/dates/details otherwise), but it has also taken me a few years to learn to become flexible. I am still learning to be flexible. And so, my latest days have been filled with being flexible and “doing nothing” on my to do lists.
Take today for example. I was hoping to get up early and have my usual breakfast with coffee/readings. My list entitled doing the dishes and getting my laundry done; making a phone call to my grandparents; finishing a painting; writing a blog post (different one than this); and finishing a book. Actual day included rising early–nothing like a Charlie horse cramp in your right leg for an alarm clock–and falling out of bed, because I had put my right foot forward in attempts to get to the bathroom. You hear people talk of starting your day by getting out on “the right side of bed” (figurative); since I already have that part complete (literally), I say, “Start your day with your best foot forward.” Obviously for me, it is my left foot.
I contemplated getting ready for the day and having my coffee time early. Instead, I crawled back in bed figuring I can read a little; if I fall asleep, I assumed that I would wake in an hour or so and be back on my feet around 9am, as that is pretty typical. I end up waking four hours later..bummed that I had wasted my morning hours, I get brunch and coffee anyway. I get ready for the day, type a few emails and run some errands in town with Mom in the mid-afternoon. When we returned, I had about an hour before I was to have a Skype session and so I started my laundry.
My Skype chat was to be with a group of girls from the University of Cincinnati DAAP about my artwork. A social worker from Children’s Hospital–who was the first person to initiate my paintings as part of an art viewing when I first moved here-had given my name and contact to this group, “Art for Survivors,” led by Jenny Ustick. Since I cannot make the actual class in physical presence, Jenny suggested Skype. I brought up some paintings from the basement to show and ask my questions. My session was set with three students of Jenny, who were familiar with my painting styles through my blog. It was a great conversation! I asked my questions on how to thicken my paint for texture, abstract ideas, different brush sizes for different techniques, and pricing artwork. They gave me some suggestions for new abstract techniques and will gather some painting medium information for me as well. Towards the end, art shows were mentioned and I was invited to take part in their art viewing in April.
Suddenly, my “full day of doing nothing” turned into an evening of full possibilities! I am ready to restart my paintings–growing and learning in the process; living in flexibility. “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” Colossians 3:23