Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Art Of Sloth; Or, How I've Learned To Adore Retirement

I wrote in early February about my angst in making the transition from productive business owner to retiree -- wondering whether I would make peace with a life without structure, without daily have-to's, without goals -- and without money. HAH! I've more than made peace with it -- I've learned to relish every minute of it!

There is just something so delicious about waking up knowing that the day holds no obligations other than doing exactly what I want to do -- for the very first time in my life -- and knowing that this isn't just a temporary state of being. The next couple of hours (spent with my iPad and iCoffee or iTea, while the iDog takes an after-breakfast nap on his iPillow next to me) ensure my minimum daily requirement of vitamin Internet and vitamin caffeine. The bad news is that nearly all of the stuff found on the internet is vitamin crap. The internet "news aggregator" app I use -- ZITE -- is a subsidiary of CNN and garners its offerings from many websites, including a kazillion blogs. While this guarantees mild daily entertainment (and many articles I can't resist sending to annoy a few lucky friends), the actual value of these writings is pretty low on the worth-reading scale, other than to exercise one's eyeballs.

ZITE sends me internet news and articles on geology (according to the preferences I set up), and even in this supposed scientific arena the amount of crap is staggering. Firstly, every article is written in the same Nova/Discovery Channel format of "it's not interesting unless there's a doomsday ending." Secondly, there is an unforgivable amount of "breaking news" stories that are actually recycled old postings from years (even millenia) ago. Thirdly, nearly every article is written using every qualifying adverb and adjective known to Mr. Webster. For example, "such and such event MAY/MIGHT/COULD/POSSIBLY/AT SOME FUTURE POINT/ occur, causing the world or entire universe to explode." This dishonest writing applies to every science discipline I read about, which is most of them. What this really says to me is that no scientist, nowhere, no how, knows anything about anything, or else is too chicken to state any fact for certain. Everything in science is in flux, all the time... which is why the "facts" we read or hear in actual news stories change polarity from week to week. Talk about taking news stories with a grain of NaCl.

But please don't think my iPad takes up my entire day. I've worked through almost four college-level lecture courses from The Teaching Company (A History Of European Painting, Dutch Masters: The Age Of Rembrandt, From Monet To Van Gogh: A History Of Impressionism, and The World's Greatest Paintings), with many more to go. These excellent courses have replanted a little seed in my little brain about returning to Europe, possibly next year, now that I at last know what to look for in great art. I've even finished my own masterpiece (below), although no museum has yet called about buying it.

Oh, and the rest of my day? I garden (see below) and work a few hours weekly at the local Food Bank, but having just had a distressingly significant birthday, I can no longer remember the other 15 hours. According to my Amazon and iTunes accounts, I buy a lot of books and music, and I think I walk Louis the dog and sleep, but I'm not sure. Whatever I'm doing, though, I'm certain I'm really happy doing it. Thank you, decades spent working, for having brought me this time of my life!

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