Sunday, July 1, 2012

Doing Nothing Very Well

When I first retired, I worried that I'd have a hard time handling all of the "down-time."  My career was filled with long, busy days and a whole lot of travel, so I thought that doing nothing would be impossible.

I am pleased to report that I was wrong.  I've learned that I'm very good at doing nothing.  I eased myself into that "doing nothing" mode by using my timeshare weeks going places I've never been to.  Or to places I've been to, but never for more than just a few days.  And once there, I did....nothing! Or as little as possible.  Now, after almost 6 years of practice, I've become somewhat of an expert at doing nothing.

This past week I spent a whole lot of downtime after the race in Milwaukee.  On Saturday, after finishing the race, I checked out of the very nice Pfister Hotel in downtown Milwaukee and headed west about 30 miles to Delafield, WI.  I parked myself in a nice Holiday Inn Express within walking distance of restaurants, shopping, a movie theater and stayed there for 3 nights/days. 

Sunday morning I walked over to the Starbucks, ordered my Grande Cappuccino, and sat at an outside table waiting for Super Cuts to open.  I needed a haircut and ran out of time to get one before leaving for this trip.  I got a very nice cut and blow dry, then walked over to the big new Sports Authority and browsed a bit.

Monday morning I drove to a nearby Mazda dealer to get service done, another task I didn't get done before leaving home.  They set me up for a 1:00 PM appointment, so I did some grocery shopping and browsed the nearby Kohl's before returning to the dealership for the scheduled service.  It was a nice dealership and they had me done in short order. 

At my post-race luncheon at Water Street Brewery on Saturday, I received a couple of recommendations for things to do.  One was to go to Penzeys Spices.  It was very hard to get out of that store without spending a lot of money!  But, since retiring, I've been doing a lot more cooking.  The purchases won't go to waste.
Le Duc's turtle sundae
Another recommendation was to go a few miles south of Delafield to a little custard shop called Le Duc's.  So Tuesday, on my way to New Glarus, I took that little detour and had lunch - a bratwurst sandwich with sauerkraut - and dessert, a turtle sundae as recommended by a friend. 

And so then it was on to New Glarus, just 80 miles further west, to do more of that "doing nothing" thing.  And I'm getting very good at it.  In New Glarus there was a laundromat next door to the motel so I did a load of laundry and read my Kindle while waiting.  Afterward, with nothing else to do, I walked into town to check it out and to get a treat at the Maple Leaf shop.

Wednesday morning I got a little run in, heading southwest on the Sugar Creek Trail, one of those "rails to trails" projects.  Nice hard-packed gravel and pleasant views.  Afterward, showered and dressed, I drove over to the nearby New Glarus Brewery and took the tour, shopped in the gift shop, and bought a "tasting" of three different beers.  Then I visited the beer depot downstairs.  Here, I purchased two mix-and-match six packs of the New Glarus offerings, bought a bottle of Belgian Ale, and a four-pack of a limited edition IPA. 

With a nice little beer-buzz going on from the beer tastings, I drove back to the motel and got a Subway sandwich for lunch, and then I sat outside of my room in the shade and waited for the MTF folks to start arriving.  Yep, definitely getting very good and the "sitting around doing nothing" part of retirement.


  1. That is what retirement is for. Doing nothing, or doing what you want, even when that is nothing.

    Oh, and I love Penzys. I go to the one in Portland. Love their hot curry and herbs de Provence.


  3. This was a great post. I worry about doing nothing when that day comes, so I will have to concentrate in doing nothing in far away places.