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Lazy or decompressing?
Old 07-21-2008, 02:51 PM   #1
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Lazy or decompressing?

Can't really count last week. DD was in the hospital and so I was watching the DGS. Not a lot of time to "do nothing" there. But today, the first day of week four, was different. It would historically have been the first day back to work after a long vacation. Instead, I did NOTHING!!

And boy, do I mean nothing. I have done so little I actually feel guilty about it. I'm wondering if I'm lazy or just beginning to decompress after 23 years of being on "red alert".

I did manage to put together the materials for a "grab-n-go" bag for the pistol range. I fed the chickens and rabbits. And I have planned supper to be ready at 6pm. I made a calendar so my LSW can track my comings and goings for races and mc safety classes.

It's not that I don't have things I could do. I have a woodworking shop that is in dire need of a clean out and re-organizing. I've got little piddly homeowner things that need to be done or fixed. It's more like I think of doing something like that, then think, "Phooey, it'll be there later."

And besides, it's hot here in PA right now. Over 90ºF and high humidity. Sucks the life right out of a big boy like me. Too hot to work.

Know what I dread the most though? When my LSW comes home tonight and asks, "So, what did you do today?" She's been imprisoned at that damned bank for 8 hours and I have to look at her and say "Nothing." Now that is guilt!!
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Old 07-21-2008, 02:52 PM   #2
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Spray some lysol or pine cleaner around the house and stand in front of the stove. That is what I did once when I was out of a job for a month or so! It made it seem like I'd been doing more than reading novels all day.
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Old 07-21-2008, 03:00 PM   #3
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No reason to feel guilty for doing "nothing". The reason i'm saving for FIRE is so I can retire early and do whatever I want which in most cases means doing absolutely nothing. I will never feel guilty for doing nothing. You shouldn't either. You earned that right. Just for the record, it sounds to me you need more practice at doing "nothing". I do less than what you described on almost all of my days off.
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Old 07-21-2008, 03:06 PM   #4
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I for one am an expert at doing nothing. I will continue practicing till I get tired of it. Don't see that happening in the near future.
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Old 07-21-2008, 03:08 PM   #5
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I am doing nothing right now, and I don't feel a bit guilty about it! I am dreaming of the day when I can do nothing every day, if I want to.
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Old 07-21-2008, 03:08 PM   #6
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I went through that. It took me a good 6 months to decompress. Fortunately while working I arranged one major trip for right after retirement, because when we got back from that I found myself at loose ends and not really motivated to do a whole lot. Finally after a couple of months we managed to plan a couple more trips - not major ones, but something.

But by six months later, we had a whole bunch of things lined up and we moved into full retirement swing.

Part of it was just figuring out what we really wanted to do with our time. We had a lot of false starts that first six months - did quite a few things that we later figured out we just weren't that interested in. But by the end of that time a couple of things came out clearly on top, so we focused on those and it was not looking back after that!

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Old 07-21-2008, 03:17 PM   #7
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I have nothing mastered. Big surprise I know. Oh wait Im doing something tomorrow..


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Old 07-21-2008, 03:22 PM   #8
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Doing nothing is an under-rated art. As a 'deadly sin', sloth really slows down ones capacity to commit the others, so it's a net gain, I figure.

Seriously - Give yourself some decompress time and list one modest thing a day and do it. Ok, maybe two things. Figure out the rest of it as it comes.

Enjoy!
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Old 07-21-2008, 03:33 PM   #9
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What is LSW ? I assume it's your wife .
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Old 07-21-2008, 06:09 PM   #10
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I went through that. It took me a good 6 months to decompress.
Agree. I went through the same "delay in getting on with the rest of my life", but I needed time to become comfortable in my "new shoes".

It's not equated to going on a long vacation; this vacation will last the rest of your life (if you so wish).

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Old 07-21-2008, 06:15 PM   #11
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What is LSW ? I assume it's your wife .
I'm pretty sure it's lazy, shiftless wife. No wait, that's LeatherneckPA! Just kidding, I'm guessing it's Long-Suffering Wife.
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Old 07-21-2008, 06:18 PM   #12
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I'm guessing it's Long-Suffering Wife.
Lovely Single Woman?

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Old 07-21-2008, 06:39 PM   #13
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Hey Leatherneck, glad to see you are mastering the art of doing nothing. Doing nothing well is a real craft. Have a feeling the LSW is probably just jealous.

In four more months, I get to become an apprentice do nothing. Glad to hear decompressing is not unusual.
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Old 07-21-2008, 06:44 PM   #14
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It's been hot and really muggy here too for the last few days, so I've done very near to nothing. I did mow the lawn yesterday morning before it got unbreathable unbearable, then I came in and watched movies.....same as I did Saturday. Today the only things I've done were 1) move some container plants onto the patio under the roof before a strong storm passed through this morning, 2) picked some tomatoes and squash, 3) went for coffee, 4) moved containers back to their normal spots......that's it! Time spent (minus the 1 hour coffee run) was about 10 minutes. Oh, and I watched an episode of Bonanza, and one of Gunsmoke.....then took a siesta!

Every once in a while I just decide to do nothing for a day or two. Lazy? Yup, and darn proud of it!!! Do I ever feel guilty about it? Nope......and I never have and never will make any excuses for being lazy & proud! I had to bust my hump for the 'man' for 30+ years.......homey ain't playin' that no more!!!

So, lazy or decompressing? Doesn't matter! It's YOUR time....enjoy it ANY way YOU want, whether it's doing something...or doing nothing. You have to kind of pace yourself.
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Old 07-21-2008, 07:34 PM   #15
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"It's not about me and my dream of doing nothing. It's about all of us!"

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Old 07-21-2008, 08:44 PM   #16
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When I semi-FIREd because of career burnout, I would get up at 1:30 in the afternoon and do as little as necessary (i.e., eat, maybe shower, maybe something else if it wasn't too much trouble). It started to get old after three weeks, but my mind needed to be convinced that for the rest of my life, I really could afford to do nothing and "be irresponsible" if I felt like it. (Vacations don't count because you know they will always end at some point.)

Then after a couple of years of working from home and setting my own hours, I got an assignment where I have to get up early and be on site all day. I'm enjoying the new schedule for the time being because my batteries are recharged and each contract renewal is only for three months (meaning I can handle any stress that should develop because it can only last for a limited amount of time). I work now because I want to rather than because I have to, which leaves me in control of now much stress I'm willing to tolerate.
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Old 07-22-2008, 12:53 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by LeatherneckPA View Post
Can't really count last week. DD was in the hospital and so I was watching the DGS. Not a lot of time to "do nothing" there. But today, the first day of week four, was different. It would historically have been the first day back to work after a long vacation. Instead, I did NOTHING!!!
So, you're burned out from a week of childcare? Sounds to me like you're entitled to two weeks off for every week of caring for your descendants... especially if they have mostly your genes. At least that's the rule in our family.

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It's not that I don't have things I could do. I have a woodworking shop that is in dire need of a clean out and re-organizing. I've got little piddly homeowner things that need to be done or fixed. It's more like I think of doing something like that, then think, "Phooey, it'll be there later."
Know what I dread the most though? When my LSW comes home tonight and asks, "So, what did you do today?" She's been imprisoned at that damned bank for 8 hours and I have to look at her and say "Nothing." Now that is guilt!!
If your spouse is smart, she'll see that dinner is ready and the house is relatively neat and she'll keep her thoughts to herself. Life could be a lot worse.

Another rule you could try, though, is "20 minutes a day". Set a timer and go at the workshop (or whatever) for 20 minutes, then promise yourself an hour of liberty. Or you'll get into it and spend a couple hours on the project. Either way when she asks you can say "Well, I got started on the workshop today, and I'll do some more tomorrow."

I spent three hours painting a bathroom today, so "being lazy" looks like a pretty sweet deal...
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Old 07-22-2008, 07:18 AM   #18
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Just kidding, I'm guessing it's Long-Suffering Wife.
BING, BING, BING, BING, BING!!!! Give that man a CEE-GAR!!! See that? The Bum hardly knows me and he can already empathize with my wife.

Historically folks in my line of work suffer from "explosive decompression". In other words, the sudden release of our daily stress actually rebounds and provokes cardiac episodes that are frequently fatal. The BOP's average post-retirement life expectancy is only around 9 years. In our case, I fear it may be my wife who can not cope with my retirement.
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Old 07-22-2008, 07:36 AM   #19
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I also went through that, only it took a year, perhaps a little more, to decompress. Spent a lot of time on the back porch watching the water on the creek. Then looked around for something somewhat "productive" to do and helped a friend build an airplane. Another guy who retired about the same time I did ended up helping a friend build a house. Bounced around a couple of odd jobs and was an independent consultant for a while.

Now I'm back at work, either full time or part time my choice, it's a low-stress environment, I like the people, very little BS and so on. The hardest part was making up my mind to commit to a job. But my KMA hat is intact and if things go sour I'll just give 'em the finger. But since all of staff is also current or retired law enforcement I think they already have that figured out.
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