Monday, June 7, 2010

"I've been thinking"

Occasionally, I wake up from my afternoon nap, or come in from my daily constitutional in the park, to that ominous greeting from my dear wife: "I've been thinking". I know immediately that I'm in trouble... and just how much trouble, is going to become immediately apparent.

This particular form of "thinking" does not represent the exercising of the little gray cells, as with Agatha Christie's detective Hercule Poirot. Although, at our respective ages, Jean and I are certainly cognisant of the need for this form of mental therapy, and indeed we each do our share of that. Jean does crosswords (because she can spell) and I do Sudoku (because I can't spell). Blogging is also a challenging mental exercise, and between computer spell checkers and my personal one (Jean), this new internet venture also seems to be exercising the little gray cells quite admirably.

 Rodin's "The thinker"

But alas! Jean's "I've been thinking" usually portends the need for something that requires physical work - some form of action around the family homestead. Now I do admit to being something of a procrastinator, but sometimes my better half's original small thought evolves into something much greater in magnitude (which I totally suspect is some form of unjust retribution for the delay) when in reality, the delay has been because I am taking a little time to "think" through the situation, to decide the best way to tackle the latest project. After all, there is normally no urgent need for action on any particular thought, because when one is satisfied, it appears to make room all too quickly for yet another.

I remember one of the challenges I used to face as an employer in an entrepreneurial industry. There was a job jar on my desk (actually it was an imaginary one) chock full of ideas (an excellent substitute word for thoughts) to keep my key people both challenged and occupied. I believed that there is nothing worse for morale than having insufficient meaningful work to keep everyone busy, moreover, I also believed in that age old idiom that "the devil finds work for idle hands to do".

But I certainly did not anticipate that in retirement, someone might be doing the same for me.

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