The Chasing of the Tail

woman-reading-by-the-harbour-james-tissotThe most popular pastime in our house this week has been that known as chasing one’s tail.  When I first retired my problem was not finding time to blog but rather finding things to blog about because suddenly I was left with a great deal of time on my hands and very little with which to fill it.  Isn’t it funny how things change?  Now I am running around witless, chasing said tail, because I have so much that needs doing that I don’t know how I am going to find the necessary hours and minutes in which to complete it all.  And, of course, just when I haven’t got time to deal with it, my main computer has died (RIP) so I can only hope that this missive, going out on a wing and a prayer, will reach you all.

Earlier this week, Stefanie, over on So Many Books, wrote a post about wanting to prioritise and if ever I needed to follow her good example it is now.  Which is why I am making time to write here because it will  help me sort out what has to be done, what ought to be done and what it would be a good idea to do if I possibly can.

There are some things I can’t shift.  So, I have to take myself off to Stratford in an hour or so and go and work with the students over there.  That’s a regular Thursday commitment during the Autumn and Spring terms and takes up most of the day.  I also have to prepare for the regular Shakespeare class that I teach for a local group, this term on Measure for Measure, and that takes considerable thought as they are working at Masters Level. Ideally, it should get a least two hours a day.  Aren’t ideals a wonderful thing!

Then it is my turn to lead the Bookworms reading group discussion next Wednesday and I haven’t even started the book, Madeline Miller’s The Song of Achilles, let alone given any thought to how I’m going to shape the discussion.  At least I have got the two meetings this week, one on Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont  and the other on The Girl Who Fell From The Sky, out of the way.

Oh, and just for good measure, I’m starting a course on historical fiction, Plagues, Witches and War with Coursera on Monday and there is a considerable amount of preliminary reading that I have to do for that.

And this is before I even start to think about the things I ought to do, like getting the computer mended or replaced.

Looking at that list there are two things that simply cannot be allowed to slip whatever else does and they are the preparation for the Shakespeare group and Bookworms.  Other people are relying on me where those are concerned and so they have to take priority.  Then comes the historical fiction reading and only after that can I start to look at all the work on medieval history and culture that I promised myself I would get round to this Autumn.

Do you know, two sets of retired people told me yesterday how bored they were.  How do they manage it?  There are times when a bit of boredom would be a welcome distraction!  And now I’ve just looked at the clock and I really have to go.  Have a good day.

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18 thoughts on “The Chasing of the Tail

  1. Life does have a habit of being ‘all or nothing’, I find. I hope you manage to enjoy all these activities since they do sound fun.

    Your post reminded me about Coursera since I’d had my eye on the same course. I suddenly have a lull in my schedule so I’ve just signed up for it too.

    1. Karen, how lovely to hear from you. A number of us have got together to swap ideas about the Coursera course. Stefanie has set up a wiki. If you wanted to join us I’m sure she’d send you an invite. Why don’t you contact her.

  2. It has always baffled me why people fear retirement – I can’t imagine being bored till I run out of books to read…and I don’t see that happening even if they invent immortality!

    1. Do you know, I actually think I’ve read fewer books since I retired than I did when I was at work. Mind you, you have to factor into that that my job involved reading. I would never have done it if it hadn’t !

  3. You are VERY busy! Prioritise some rest in there too. From one who knows all about what happens when it gets left out (I daresay the Bears will be keen to help!).

    1. Oh Heavens, yes. Do you know why the computer wasn’t working? Becasue I had let the battery run down and hadn’t even thought about plugging in the mains lead! That is a sure sign that I am just trying to do too much. So, with the exception of a theatre ticket for Saturday afternoon, I’ve cleared my diary for the next four days so that I can do what needs doing at a reasonable pace and have some time for cream teas with The Bears. The other thing I did today was forget to turn off the gas fire in the living room when I went over to Stratford but The Bears weren’t complaining about that!

  4. How do we get ourselves into these whirlwinds? It’s like they happen we our backs are turned. I have a long way to go until retirement but looking at it from here I can’t imagine being bored. My parents are retired and they are just as busy if not busier in their retirement than they were when working full time. For some reason I thought I had another week before the hist fic class. I guess I had better get started on some of the reading! And if Karen wants to join the wiki, all I need is an email address and I will get her an invite out right away.

    1. I hope you didn’t mind my suggesting that to Karen but she is an avid learner and I thought she might both get and give from the smaller group experience.

  5. Hi, Alex! It sounds like now is the time to quote that Arabic proverb to you: “Be careful what you pray for, for you shall surely receive it.” You wanted things to do, and lo and behold! now you have so many that your cup runneth over! Enjoy the enjoyable aspects, anyway. Sorry to hear about the computer, though; these things are tough.

  6. I signed up for the Coursera historical fiction course weeks ago and was looking forward to it, but now that it’s nearly here I’m not sure I’m going to have time for it. The reading list seems a bit overwhelming. I think I need to start prioritising too!

    1. The tutor is very insistent that you don’t need to read all of the texts concerned to get something out of the course, Helen. It might be worth your while to audit the course for a couple of weeks and see how you get on. As far as I can see there aren’t going to be any essays to write so you might find you can get something out of it without too much involvement.

    1. Yes, Jeanne, I’ve just started it and even though I need to make notes for discussion I can see that it isn’t going to be a taxing read at all. I’m really interested to see how she’s going to treat the gods once we get to Troy. It’s what always fascinates me about modern retellings of this tale.

  7. That’s definitely the way to do retirement! Yes, perhaps a little less busyness might not be so bad, but who wants a boring retirement? I’d definitely pick being too busy over being bored, if those were the only choices available. I hope you enjoy your time as you work on all these interesting-sounding tasks!

    1. I wasn’t enjoying it, Rebecca because I had too much to do to be able to do it well and that matters to me, but I’ve caught up enough now to be able to get more out of it.

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