Friday, May 27, 2016

The Fine Art of Doing Nothing

Sometimes I think I should write a book titled:  Retirement:  The Fine Art of Doing Nothing, because I'm tired of reading AARP magazine articles and UW Retirement Association posts about people with "encore" careers or Truly Important Volunteer gigs or folks who become world-wide travelers and such -- can't retired people just, you know, relax?

Relaxing is what I've been doing all week and I've enjoyed it very much.  Yes, I made a couple of brief forays out of the house, but only to visit a neighborhood park and draw a little sketch and then sit there with Truman doing nothing for a while, and also to visit another park and stroll out on a pier to stare at Lake Washington with Truman while doing absolutely nothing.  

My proposed book chapter titles would run along these lines:

Chapter One:  The Grass Is Never Greener on the Other Side, So Just Stay Home

Chapter Two:  How to Use a Lawn Chair for Beginners

Chapter Three:  Exploring Your Own Neighborhood by Foot (with or without a dog)

Chapter Four:  Applying the Concept of "Dinking Around" to Daily Life

Chapter Five:  How to Use a Lawn Chair - Advanced Techniques and Props

And so on.  I'm sure there could be a chapter on How to Be a Lazy Gardener -- which is what I've been practicing lately.  Instead of meticulously pulling up weeds in one square foot of ground at a time, I've been whacking away at wide swaths with abandon, because it's faster and even if I take out a few nice plants along the way, they're usually small and plentiful and won't be missed much anyway.  

This allows for more time in the lawn chair, where I have mastered advanced techniques and props (side table for water, food, and book, comfy pillow, camera in case the Bewick's Wren turns up, one long-haired wiener dog).  Earlier this week, I had a different camera in hand -- I borrowed a souped-up point-and-shoot, the Panasonic Lumix, from Tina so I could test it out.  My own souped-up point-and-shoot, the Canon Powershot, is having some issues and I thought I'd see if I liked the Lumix better for when the time comes to buy a new camera.  

I did like it, quite a lot.  It still needs more field testing on the birds at the Fill, but the garden photos I took with it are very fine indeed.  The colors seemed crisper than the Canon, and the zoom was comparable, and it focuses more swiftly.  Here are my favorite practice shots with the Lumix.


Required lounging accessory


Master of advanced lounging

Pansy Violets (AKA Johnny Jump-Ups)

Foxglove and friend

How to Be A Retired Wiener Dog

Now I'm going to go practice the fine art of doing nothing for the rest of the day.  Sadly, the weekend is a tad fraught -- I'm hosting a party on Saturday, and going to a baseball game on Sunday.  What in the world was I thinking??  I'll need the whole following week to recover!

Happy Friday!


  1. I would read that book and I love the chapter headings. You should go for it. Of course that might defeat the purpose - no relaxing while writing a book eh? If you threw in lots of photos of the master of advanced lounging I'm sure it would be a bestseller.

    1. Yeah, I thought about it...for about two minutes. Definitely too much work!