Nicolle Plescia: Doing Nothing

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The pandemic lockdown generated a lot of free time for many people. Nicolle Plescia has this Perspective on what she did with it.

Last spring my busy life as a mom came to a halt. No sports or crazy carpooling schedule. All the multi-tasking and calendaring just stopped.

I found myself wondering how I would fill all of my free time. How many times had I wished for things to slow down and now they had! Now was the time to do all the things I never had the time to do. I could learn to play the ukulele. Teach my kids French. As weeks turned to months, this new, slow normal felt pretty nice. Like all families, we found other ways to fill our days now free from endless obligations. We played board games and took lots of family walks. For the first time in a decade, I had not one list of things to do hanging over my head.

A friend recently asked how I felt about our year “off," that if I had known restrictions were going to last a year, would I have done anything differently? I panicked. I never touched a ukulele and my kids still don’t speak French. What had I done? Had I wasted an entire year just taking walks? No checklists with accomplishments? Had I done nothing with my year filled with an empty schedule?

Life has reopened and I am back to my multi-tasking ways. An article entitled “Doing Nothing is Something” ended the guilt I felt about my family’s “year off.” The journalist’s critique of the relentless structure we are used to made me see the beauty of a checklist free year. Consumed with making every minute count we don’t recognize the importance of doing nothing. That just being is something.


I thought about the last year and what I had done with those quiet days now long gone. We are back at carpooling and calendaring. My kids still don’t speak French, but c’est la vie! A year of doing nothing was really doing something pretty special.

With a Perspective, I’m Nicolle Plescia.

Nicolle Plescia teaches French and social studies at Redwood High School in Larkspur.