Got the Hanging-Out, Old Man Blues

I’m retired. It should be easy to spend an afternoon in the hammock. To lie beneath the sky on a spring day and watch the cumulus clouds float by, to watch the breeze push the fluffy cloud bridge into a puffy old man with a sunshine wink. But I think I’ve forgotten how to do this. I remember from days past a childhood when the hot hours of the day were spent beneath the elm trees, just being alive. One day I found a patch of shamrocks in the lawn, huge shamrocks with four-leaf-clover leaves and I plucked one and pressed it in the old dictionary that had been my grandfather’s at the turn of the century.

It’s still there. I saw it the last time I rummaged through the old trunk. But where did the girl disappear to, the girl who noticed all those sweet clovers just under her nose? Is it a coincidence that I’ve never found another four-leaf clover in all the passing years? Maybe. But I never looked.

So now I’m the puffy old lady in the clouds. My granddaughters think I’m wise beyond words. I guess to them, I am, but inside I feel like I’m waiting for something to happen. And all that waiting makes me nervous so I stay busy.

On my list for today: Write the next big American novel, cure the lawn of whatever ails it, give a talk to my marketing group, go to the gym, post two letters, clean a closet, bake a pie, participate in a conference call for an organization I lead. Oh, and in the middle of it all, sit at the computer and write a blog.

Creating Balance seems to be the national pastime. Well, I can’t speak for everyone, but something is seriously out of whack. I sign up for more than I want or need in my life. Make promises to myself, my family, my God, my community that start smarting before the ink is dry on the contract (metaphorically speaking.) Hard to admit, but I’m that smarty pants kind of person who thinks she can do it all. I like the sound of my own voice.

Spring is shortly here and quickly gone while housework is forever. Add to that the constant pressure of clubs, social media and the smart phone. I don’t mean to be cranky, but none of them are a fair trade for the old man in the sky. So that’s it. It’s midnight–officially a new day. Time to apply the lessons that I learned today. It was a good one, this day. But tomorrow…


No matter what, tomorrow I’m hanging out in the hammock.

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