25 October 2008
Since I retired, almost four months ago, I’ve often been asked what I do all day. After I respond with the perfectly true answer “whatever I want”, there’s usually silence and I’m forced to come up with some concrete examples of how I spend my days. I feel a little like I did at work when composing my weekly activity report.
The truth is, due to a quirk of personality, I’m perfectly content to be rather than to do. I think I reasonably capably handle most of the cooking, cleaning, planning, budgeting and all the rest required to keep the household running smoothly, but beyond that, most of what I do cannot actually be detected by the human eye. You might see me sitting in front of the computer occasionally typing, wandering in the woods, sitting in a chair with a book, or standing in the garden.
I’m not working on money-making schemes, planning to run for office, fantasizing about trips to the Caribbean, or inventing perpetual motion machines. I do not spend time trying to figure out how to improve my career, or have a nicer house, or achieve something great.
What I am doing, is committing an act of rebellion. I’m rebelling against societal norms in which being busy is being good. Where idleness is regarded with suspicion and fear. Where goals should be measurable and results count. I’m a rebel without a cause or a daytimer. One of my pleasures is walking the labyrinth on our property. Unlike a maze, which presents the walker with choices and dead ends, the labyrinth guides you to the centre, and then back out. You end where you started. You went nowhere. Hopefully you enjoyed the walk, because it was the journey, not the end that was the point.