How do you deal with emptiness?

My first reaction is to panic. I woke up today with nothing on my plate until the evening. Same thing tomorrow and the next day and the next. I’ve never been so not busy in my life, except on vacation. When I’m on vacation, I allow myself to be OK without things to do. To be OK with non-doing. But outside that context, those empty swaths of calendar terrify me.

My typical morning ritual looks like: black coffee, a bowl of raw cereal (I don’t like putting milk in it for God knows what reason), and furrowing my brow as I check emails, social media, any…