Wednesday, June 09, 2021

Doing Nothing vs. Doing Nothing

Back in my days as a "productive" citizen, I never took a long vacation -- maybe two weeks at the most -- the reason being that I always suspected that if I unplugged from the Matrix for too long, I'd float away and be unable to readapt to its unnatural demands.  

For related reasons, I never worked on a full-time basis, because my career meant nothing to me while my freedom meant everything. As we've discussed in the past, timelessness takes a great deal of time. You can't just flip on the slack switch Friday afternoon and flip it off Sunday night. 

Rather, you have to arrange your life in such a manner that you're always available for celestial duty when called upon. Of course there are inevitable terrestrial responsibilities, but I've always tried to reduce these to the bare minimum, the better to be available for vertical murmurandoms and other urgent nonsense. 

Come to think of it, back in the early '80s, when I heard about the "voluntary simplicity" movement, it made immediate and total sense to me. I came to regard simplifying my life as equivalent to earning more money. Which it is, except it also results in more time, which is everything. At least for my type. If I didn't have an abundance of unstructured time, I'd literally feel sophicated, gnoseated, and exiled from my omland.  

For me, retirement means complete freedom from the Conspiracy. The last time this occurred was upon graduating high school. I distinctly remember the euphoria of plunging into an endless summer of pure present tense, with no past and certainly no future, the latter being the furthest thing from my mind. Still is. 

This utopian dream or Adventure in Laziness lasted until the fall, when, upon the *advice* of my father, I arose from my ass and obtained a part-time job in a liquor store. There I toiled for up to 12 hours a week, and if I recall correctly, my paycheck amounted to $16.50 a week (minimum wage was $1.65/hr). 

Of course, that was more than sufficient for my simple needs, because it cost exactly $5.00 to fill up my Ford Pinto (gas was around 50 cents a gallon) and exactly $5.25 for a case of Coors. So my paycheck covered one tank + two cases, with enough left over for several Big Macs, which were 45 cents back then.

This is not to say I was an early adopter of voluntary simplicity, being that I was just an involuntary simpleton.  

Then came college, or rather, junior college. Back in high school, people would denigrate it as "high school with ash trays." This was a flippant exaggeration, since it had none of the rigor of high school, although it was more expensive. Back then it literally cost $6.50 a semester -- which my parents generously covered, being that I was again tapped out after gas, beer, and incidentals.

I also tried to arrange my classes so that they required my presence for 90 minutes on Tuesdays and Thursdays rather then 60 minutes in Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, thus preserving the all-important four day weekend. I've always considered it sacrilegious to roll on Shabbos, which for me lasted from sundown Thursday until around noon on Tuesday. 

Why am I indulging in all this nostalgia?  Because when I retired last month, I assumed I could limit it to the periphery. However, it seems it has spread from the extremities to the core, such that I don't feel like doing anything, mainly because I'm already nondoing it. I'm no longer leading a double life; rather, my I has become single, which is to say, singly enslackened.

No, it's not that I'm doing nothing. Rather, I'm very much doing nothing. Big difference. But this nothing applies to blogging. I have nothing to add to what I've already said over the past 15+ years. I will, however, have nothing to add. I just don't feel like adding it at the moment, or at least it's presently taking all day to get nothing accomplished. I'm sure this will change as I get acclimated to my new surroundings.