It’s not that hard to just do nothing — and enjoy it

Even though I am what is called “retired,” my life often reflects a frenetic quality.

Not yesterday. On Monday, April 12, 2021 — a day that shall go down in … well, not infamy, but perhaps novelty? — I did pretty much nothing. I sat on my ass and worked on writing projects with my laptop computer.

From the minute I got up, made coffee, fed myself a warmed-over blue corn donut from Whoo’s here in Santa Fe (where my wife and I are taking a break from doing nothing at home, to not doing it here), I sat in my corner chair and did my “work.”

That is, revising short story drafts, and combing the webs for potential places to publish my work, and actually sending a few stories to a few such places.

Anyone looking at me would say, that dumbass is doing nothing.

I realized, as the hours ticked past noon and drained toward dusk, that I hadn’t moved except to pee and fetch tissue for my running nose.

My wife, rousing herself after nearly two weeks of acclimating to the 7,200-foot altitude, took the dog and want for an hour-long run.

I didn’t move. I was in my chair when she left. I was in it when she returned.

It felt great. Even after she returned, I kept at it. She asked what I had in mind for the day. I told her she was looking at it. She decided to leave and find repairs for an aging piece of turquoise jewelry. I wished her luck.

Guilt eventually took me by the collar, around 3 o’clock, and dragged me out the door for a run of my own. The altitude applied restraint, but I got my laps in. Had a nice chat with a couple of psychology profs from St. Louis, while their two dogs played with mine. Came home. Brewed a cup of tea and opened Joy Williams’ “The Visiting Privilege” to the title story.

I parked my ass on the deck. Diffuse sunlight warmed me, a drifting scrim of clouds changing shape and pulling my eyes from the text to see what was going on.

It was a great story, as readers of Williams would expect. My wife came home, I made us drinks, we chatted on the deck, went to a marvelous dinner at the venerable Coyote Cafe, came home, went to bed.

Perfect.

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