Idle Hands are Idle Hands


Just came back from my annual visit to see my almost 82-year old father on the East Coast of Florida. I noticed a couple of habits we share that do not serve us well:

We both stop taking our meds when we feel better because we think we no longer need them, rather than seeing that feeling better is evidence they work. The other habit we share is that we both feel bad about ourselves when we are unproductive. We are prey to bad attitudes when bored. Boredom is a trap. A bad person trap.

Other things I learned about my Dad on this trip:

  • He named the boat he built when I was a kid, Bluefish after the blueprint plans he received by mail.

  • He chopped 15 Australian Pine trees down on our River Road property with an ax (not a chainsaw!) because he did not want the house to be too shaded and cause rot.

I reckon I got a lot of my can-do from the old man.


Lucky for me, I am not at risk of withering up and dying from aimlessness. I feared I would succumb like both of my parents to a listlessness that is beyond old age. Depression crushed the can-do out of my mother and a thought disorder zapped my father like a mosquito killing lamp in a southern gas station.

Go-go-go saved my life and got me to the place I am. But I no longer want anxious ambition. I do not write to become important or famous or wealthy. I write to connect to my untapped insides and hopefully to connect with you. But I still get scared when I go through phases of not knowing what to do with myself or have the oomf to do it.

Rest and relaxation gave me breathing room and regeneration on my trip. It did not choke the life out of me. It’s not aimless to just be, it’s just planless.

My plan for my free time on my trip was not to have a plan. I decided not to write on my visit as an experiment in being present. I admit I got a little bored and lonely, and my restlessness took me on a highly unnecessary Target run. It also took me to my beloved Indian River and Bruster’s Ice Cream. The end result is that I had a really sweet time visiting my family. I even got a 15-minute massage at the airport on my way home from a young man named, Cosmos. I let Cosmos lengthen my neck.