March 2017: What Am I Doing Now? #ADayWithoutTed and mini-retirement

Note: I’ve decided to join the ‘now’ page movement. For more information: about These posts will mirror updates to the /now page on this blog. Comments welcome.

2017.03.21 Tagg Magazine 2017 Enterprising Women, Washington, DC USA 3904
2017.03.21 Tagg Magazine 2017 Enterprising Women, Washington, DC USA 3904 (View on

Greetings from Washington, DC (of course) and welcome to my first now update.

I am currently in the middle of a mini-retirement (I’m calling it #ADayWithoutTed).

Just 5 days. Because life is amazing, and because I can.

I’m using the time to

  • Brush up a little on my photography (always doing some of that)
  • Tidy up this blog and begin coding for a new theme (it’s time)
  • Set up email newsletters to my liking (I’m using Feedburner, which has limitations, any suggestions let me know)
  • Creating this now page (based on a movement created by Derek Sivers)

I’ll be continuing with the activities above after mini-retirement, albeit in a more time-managed sort of way.

Other things I’m doing

I recently enjoyed meeting 2017’s Enterprising Women, from which the photograph on the right is taken. One thing that’s a constant is my enjoyment of the future and Washington, DC, where both seem to happen in tandem 🙂 .

That’s it for now (and this first now page). Seems like a lot. Good to take stock. I therefore like the concept.

Is there anything I should be doing that I’m not? Let me know in the comments below. 

Updated 2017.03.27 – Based on a movement created by Derek Sivers

What’s a mini-retirement?

Timothy Ferriss argues that instead of deferring retirement to the end of our careers, we would be happier, more fulfilled, and more productive if we instead took “mini-retirements” throughout our lives.

Because I realize I haven’t posted the story of the Mexican Fisherman elsewhere on this blog, I’m doing it here. It will help explain the concept. The story, by the way is based on on this one: Anekdote zur Senkung der Arbeitsmoral – Wikipedia

An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied, “only a little while. The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs. The American then asked, “but what do you do with the rest of your time?”

The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine, and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life.” The American scoffed,”I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City, where you will run your expanding enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”

To which the American replied, “15 – 20 years.”

“But what then?” Asked the Mexican.

The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions!”

“Millions! then what?”

The American said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”


I’m so glad I subscribe to you by email. You’re one of the few. Because on a day like today, where hours of thumping have me wishing for something else, along comes Ted hidden buried in the inbox, with ages of wisdom in drips and drops.

So, here I find my something else.

Mini-retirement: given the improbability of my having a traditional retirement, in recent months I’ve been giving myself permission to do what I would do if I were retired, sometimes. Take half days off with Ginny, maybe take a whole day off (rarely, but perhaps more, now). Mostly, no longer saying “I can’t, because…”

In recent years I’ve also been aware of people who never get to do that, either because of the work of caring for another or because of being in the economic underclass that can never stop working. I’ve known people like that, dead in their 50s.

Seems to me, no child should have to grow up into that.

Hey Dave,

And I thank you for the cross-wisdom. So many of our hurdles are self-created. Life is amazing, glad you are in mine,


Ted Eytan, MD