The story behind the tray "Busy doing nothing"

The “Busy doing nothing” tray is one of our trays that are hand-drawn by my daughter Elin. Since a young age she has struggled with a rheumatic disease that has affected her a lot with pain in her body. You can read more about her life and journey on what it is like to live with a rheumatic disease on her blog The text below is written by Elin and taken from her blog.

Text taken from

Busy doing nothing” is a text that to me symbolizes what it can feel like having a disease that takes a lot of energy. The body works in silence and a simple thing like taking a coffee in the city can take extremely much energy. You may have heard the phrase “you have to be well to cope with being sick”. I think that quote explains very well how it is like to be sick. The energy is enough for a certain amount of things in one day, but not more than that.

I have understood that sometimes it can seem like you have a lot of time left over when you are sick and “just at home”. It´s really not like that. We have to puzzle our lives just as much as everybody els, to make all the must and everyday chores go together. The days are somehow packed with things, even though we don’t go to a normal job everyday. A normal day for me can include going on hospital visits, contacting different clinics at the hospital, household chores, trying to maintain social relationships and at the same time dealing with the illness with a lot of fatigue. Many people, including myself, are at home for a reason, and things can take longer time to perform. 

I never see myself having spare time, because I never feel really recover. The body constantly works with something, which it doesn’t for a healthy person. A healthy person can recharge the batteries after rest and is full of new energy again. I don’t believe many people think about it like that, especially if you have not experienced fatigue or widespread pain yourself or been near someone who has had these problems.

A story that I can recommend you to read to get more information and another perspective on fatigue when suffering from a chronic illness, is called “The spoon theory“. You can read it through the link.

You can read this quote in many ways. In summary, the text “Busy doing nothing” does not just mean “Busy with doing nothing”. For me, it´s about my everyday life with an illness.

Busy doing nothing bricka