Thursday, April 22, 2010

No Idle Hands

On many occasions when I was growing up, my mother told me that "idle hands make idle play." I did not know then, nor do I know now what is meant by that saying. I think it means that you are supposed to work hard all the time and that those who do not, get into trouble. I certainly have run across a few people (my clients) who did not work very hard most of the time and they were certainly in frequent trouble (which is why my services were needed).

However, I have to say that few people ever worked harder than I did when I was playing lawyer; yet, I still got into trouble all the time. So I am not sure there is any validity to the old saying about "idle hands."

Having said all that, I now find myself retired. No longer am I tormented by the task of earning a living (thank you, Matt). My days are pretty much made up of whatever I want to do. I refer to it as goofing off with dignity. Or I like to think so.

First of all, I do not have to get up at any particular time. Although my alarm goes off at 7:00 each morning, instead of an obnoxious beep, I wake up to a CD that I have loaded in the previous night. This morning was Lightning Hopkins playing acoustic and old electric hollow-body blues. That guy could play! The CD shuts off automatically in one hour. Some days, if I like the music, I get up when the alarm shuts off the CD. Some days, I am out of bed in 10 minutes. The important principle in action here is that when I get up is determined by whether I like the music, or not. Nothing else.

The rest of the day is spent, as I said before, doing whatever amuses me. I know I am spoiled, but I figure I earned it after 33 years of trying to fix everybody else's problems. Lately, there are airplanes to fly. Aerobatics in the Decathlon. Motorcycles to ride. Sailboats to sail. Ice cream to eat at the Frozen Custard with the Lovely Loon. Scott Joplin music by Scott Joplin to play. (Neighbors say that my house sounds like a guitar conservatory with Zach playing upstairs and me playing downstairs.)

I have always been someone who has to be doing something all the time. MY hands must be building or fixing something every day. There are too many interesting things to do and life (particularly mine) is too short to waste. I have to be building something every day. Just because I am sick offers no exceptions. My latest project is the construction of a small wooden boat called the Cocktail Class Racer. It is 8 feet long and made of marine-grade mahogany plywood. It has no useful purpose other than to go fast with me in it. There are few things in life more pleasurable than building a wooden boat. I have built five of them over the years. Each one really did float and performed as it was supposed to. Building each of them was a delight. Here is a picture of the current boat and my shop.

I intend on continuing to do those things that I like to do for as long as I can do them. I am trying to improve my skills, whether it is in flying, sailing, playing the guitar, building furniture or building boats. Idle hands? Nope. Staying out of trouble? So far. Having the time of my life. YES.

Mike out.

1 comment:

  1. That's exactly what I was hoping to hear -- that you are having the time of your life. Bravo, maestro!