I should go swimming more, the pool is really nice. I’m not an action kind of guy, though, I’m more about stasis. Oh, I can get a lot done, especially if I’m getting paid, biff, bam, boom, one task after the other. But once I’m done with the things that really must be done I tend to do something that is fun and can be done while sitting quietly.
It is sadly the case that given the choice between doing something, and doing nothing, I’ll probably choose to do nothing. But doing nothing isn’t really one of the options, is it?
Even retired, one needs to do something. Getting up; washing; eating; evacuating; sitting still; eating again; taking a nap; eating yet again, god it all gets so old, all of this eating; watching TV; sleeping; it would only be two or three days before the soul would cry out for mercy and something to do. Life requires that something be done.
There are always hobbies. One can devote oneself to golf. Golf has a noble social aspect, and the impossibility of mastering it gives it a long term appeal for many people. Golf also has result-motivation. Myself, I get result-motivation from writing, reading and writing, with maybe a little TV thrown in. It may look like the quiet tranquility of the tomb to some people, but sometimes, if the writing is good, or if I read and understand something meaningful, I feel very productive.
One recent Sunday, by ten o’clock in the morning I had written a thousand good words, after edit, and done a load of wash besides. I’d also had my breakfast of choice: two cups of coffee (Maconna instant, with two packs of Equal and a little whole milk), a bowl of corn flakes (Kellogg’s) with orange flavored drinkable yoghurt (Dutch Mill), and a cigarette (Marlboro Menthol, no lights, please, I smoke three or four a day). I almost went back to sleep for the rest of the day, the daylight hours anyway. It was too early to start drinking; drinking is only fun for a couple of hours, after that it becomes tedious.
It occurs to me that someday I may wish that I had done more while I still had the strength, but I doubt it. I’ve never been ambitious, nor have I ever been overly impressed by the accomplishments of my fellows, even of famous overachievers. My accomplishments in sixty years so far would look fine as a total for an eighty year lifespan, I’m just a run-of-the-mill human, after all. “The Accomplishments of Run –of-the-Mill Humans” is not so impressive a book.