Mandan News

Dan Ulmer: Things I learn by doing nothing

Layout 1 (Page 1)As result of being incredibly busy doing nothing and not being able to complete that task before bedtime, I’ll have to admit that I’ve lost track of where I am. It seems like Friday but it could be any day, then it seems like summer when the sun shines and fall when it rains. Whodda thought retirement could be so confusing? Maybe I should focus a bit less on doing nothing.

I’ve discovered a coffee klatch out here. Actually it’s a cocktail convocation of retirees that convenes at 5 p.m. each weekday evening. You have to be retired to attend otherwise you are not informed where the event takes place. Prior to retiring I had heard rumors about this clandestine gathering and even got close to sneaking into one, but just as I was about to show up I was informed that I didn’t qualify.

So I finally made the grade and after a short initiation where I was informed of the meeting schedule and sworn to secrecy I have become a regular attendee. The event lasts a bit over an hour and then we all go our separate ways for the remainder of the evening…

Realizing that the other members have much more experience in this retirement gig, like years, I have become a student of theirs and here’s some of my learning’s so far:

-Life at the lake reverses; when one is still employed Fridays are a big day and Sundays the worst, because you have to return to work on Monday. Once retired, Sundays become the best day of the week as everyone goes home and Thursday’s the worst because you gotta clean up your mess before everyone comes back on Friday.

-Weekend projects that needed to be done in two days can now be delayed or put off until they either cure themselves or become a crisis.

-When the Mrs. calls after her hard day at work and asks what you did with your day, the best response is “I’ve had a full day.”

-Any given full day needs to be accompanied by a nap; however, try not to slumber much longer than an hour, otherwise the sleep bug will be with you for the rest of your full day.

-Instead of showering and dressing for work in the morning, get used to spending your first hour in whatever you slept in while sipping coffee and wondering how you are going to fill up your day.

-Get used to wandering around in circles wondering what you should do next; just learn to relax and see what pops up.

-When tackling an inevitable project don’t just rush into it, unless the cabin is on fire take your time, think it through, and see if you can’t whittle it down to something a senior citizen can handle.

-Keep plenty of beer on hand in case you have to find bigger muscles than God granted you, it seems to attract healthy young men looking to show off their strength… however, take care not to begin serving aforementioned accoutrements until after the project is completed…

And that’s what I learned this week… Here’s hoping that you learned something during that time as well… Peace…