How I spent the back half of my summer, unemployed

I took my time shaving, flossing, folding the laundry and putting away dishes. I took long, indulgent showers. In short, I slowed down. Stopped checking my phone. Went through things in the garage, reread old letters, threw out none. Sifted through old photos, threw out lots. Cut back the dead in the garden and sorted it, bagged it, tied it for removal. I’d been away from work so long, a good six or seven weeks, I didn’t even feel off, I just felt removed. I had to wait in line longer than expected at the pharmacy and didn’t get upset. Running errands I took the long way. I listened to the afternoon radio show. I cooked stews and deep cleaned the refrigerator, bought a fresh batch of candles, replaced worn pillow cases, started building a disaster recovery kit but stopped short. I read Cormac McCarthy’s Border Trilogy. I rotated the house plants in the windows and fed them ice. I restocked the liquor cabinet, pressure washed the patio, sent out RFQs for an arborist. I deleted low quality photos from my hard drive. I got my eyes checked. I blew leaves and made kindling with the last of the wood, took the hammock down. I mailed a book to my uncle. I learned the difference between mezcal and tequila. I sharpened knives. I stood outside in my socks under the eaves as it rained, admiring a rainbow. There was so much life to be had outside of work it was hard to believe I ever managed to do both. I savored my time and knew its scarcity and loved it hard.

Categories: musings, writing

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22 replies

  1. I probably would have scrolled through Twitter for 6 weeks.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You did more in your six weeks than I’ve done in 16 months. However, you didn’t mention anything about having your nose in a textbook, so I’m pretty sure I’ve got you there.

    I dig the shirt. I can’t see all of it, but I like what I see.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha, nice eye on the shirt. It’s an emblem from my favorite bar, The Six Arms. Named after some Hindu relic they found and put there. I’d like to hear more about what you’re studying some time. I could stand to learn from it I’m thinking…


      • Probably good to be careful what you do with those Hindu relics. You don’t want one to go off unexpectedly.

        You might enjoy the class I’m taking now on multicultural psychology. Fascinating stuff. (Research Methods, not so much.)

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah. So much to say on that, the relics. I came into some kachina dolls and Indian sand paintings and now that I read about them, I wonder how I’m still alive with all my disregard. Ignorance, you know.


  3. sounds like a perfect summer, my friend…congrats! best,


    gregg s johnson cell: 206.399.3066 email:



  4. PERFECT! – a bit like mine except I replaced some things with a bunch of painting and crafting too. 🙂 But now, back to the race, with a fresh perspective, and experience for when retirement ever comes. Never before was there such a sweet summer as the summer of 20-1-9!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow! You’re retiring, that’s super Julie! Congrats and so nice to hear from you again. It’s been a while…thanks for popping by my blog! Enjoy all the time and fun that lies ahead…Bill


  5. sounds very productive and interesting and it does make you wonder how time bends to accommodate us in all we want to/need to do.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I spotted Mark and his wife on Instagram and now here’s you, rare sightings both, and Deb was with me here a few weeks ago. It’s the summer of spouses. I remember when you didn’t even run photos. “Run photos,” I said. And look at you now.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sounds like good practice for that eventual retirement. Some folks think they’ll get bored; I tell ’em if they do they’re not doing it right.

    Liked by 1 person

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