Thursday, 22 December 2011

#155: Slacker Oldies

It looks as if retirees find a number of ways to slack off.

We get out pencil and paper for sudoku and cross-word puzzles or play Scrabble and mahjong online and tell ourselves that we are outwitting creeping cabbage brain by playing "thinking games".    Reality check:  research shows that those exercised neurons are very specific to their task.  My improved Scrabble brain will not help me put together an Ikea bookcase.

Older folks indulge in activities that I consider pretty mindless, too.  What's with Farmville anyway? 

But after careers spent filling every moment with purposeful activity, perhaps we need the opportunity to indulge in some mindless pursuits.   I just wish I didn't feel like such a time-waster when I click on the Scrabble board!

I've been beating myself up about this, and in doing so have evolved a guilt assuaging, useful formula:  The Pensioners' Purposeless Pursuit Calculator (PPPC).  It goes like this:  Number of Unfilled Minutes per Work Day (aka "lost time") = Slacker Time in retirement.  For example, my unfilled minutes = 60.  This is how long it took me to drive to and from my job.  The way I see it, I should now be able to spend up to one hour daily, guilt free, doing whatever mindless activity gives me pleasure.                   

Hmmmm.  Logic aside, that does seem like a lot of slacker time.  It's a good thing I wasn't commuting to Toronto.

1 comment:

  1. But think of all the books you listened to, going to and fro. ...I wouldn't dump all that into the 'mindless' category.

    I do agree, though, that after a lifetime of mindfully making best use of time, it is hard to give yourself permission to pursue something that is without obvious purpose. ...But maybe just mentally unwinding is purpose enough. ...I see Al playing a lot of computer solitaire when he needs to zone out.