When I read Imani’s comment to my last posting it was as if a bright light was flashing before my eyes. Undoubtedly this was at least partly the fallout of a rather strange night which had actually started earlier that morning. Let me explain. After being home from Antarctica for 2 months I had still not culled and posted my photos. Understand that for somebody who has a drawer with little sections for each pair of socks this is most unusual for me; generally within 48 hours of returning from an adventure my photos are posted for viewing. I always come home so excited about what I’ve just experienced and full of new “things” and I just want to share that with my family and friends. Part of the real joy of travelling is the sharing that happens afterwards; the retelling of fabulous experiences, the revisiting of beautiful moments … and days. So … the question is … why have I been perseverating about this instead of doing it? There were initially some very practical reasons for the delay. First, we just bought me an iMac with a huge screen – a great “welcome to my new life” gift. I had to take a course in iPhoto and then a course in Photoshop Elements (I am not advertising; if I was filmed trying to work with these two applications – even after the courses – I would definitely not have appeared (and still don’t) as anything but someone struggling to figure out the technology that everyone misleadingly tells us is intuitive. That took me to about late January. Then I was awaiting Freida’s arrival and didn’t want to get started on something that I’d have to leave half-done. Then I returned and it’s taken me some time to get back “in the groove” (still not sure which groove it is but there’s definitely starting to be one). So yesterday morning I got up, plunked myself down in front of the screen, and tackled the nearly 1,000 photos I’d taken while we were away. The next time I looked up it was 2 o’clock in the afternoon (I’d started around 7 a.m.). One of the students from the course I taught last winter dropped by for tea and we talked for a couple of hours about the many things two women with a passion for social justice can find to talk about, then it was dinner and meditation group and by 10 p.m. I was back at the computer again. I worked until about 3:30 in the morning … bare hours before the sun would do it’s usual Toronto winter thing and pretend to be appearing. Here’s where it got confusing – and then really clear.
The murky part first. I was back up at 7:30 finishing up the last of what I needed to do before I could upload photos to Shutterfly. By around noon, when I read Imani’s comment, I was running out of steam. That’s unfortunate because my mother and Ellen were coming for shabbat dinner tonight (as they do most Friday nights), along with our friend Anne and then another student of mine had invited David and I to join her at the Luna Lounge at 10 p.m to hear Lady Son who “brings classic Afro-Latin roots into a new century, combining different musical genres and sounds while maintaining the essence, history and roots of the NuYorican style Salsa and Guajiro culture Son Montuno from Cuba. Every song has an important message about life, love, and the social issues that affect us all.” I read her comment and it stopped me dead in my tracks, fortunately after I’d already finished with Shutterfly and was waiting for some of the photos to upload to Flickr so that you can see them if you’d like by clicking on the link; should work.)
My evening hours, like David’s, used to be a lot about working. He’d have work to do; I’d have work to do. I’m still working on this what I can only describe as a protestant-work-ethic schedule that says I’m supposed to start working early in the day and finish in the evening. BUT I DON’T HAVE TO ANY MORE! Ah – there’s the light at the end of (I hope) this particular tunnel. He still has work to do in the evening. I’m very happy to be out lots in the evenings in the spring, summer and autumn … but not so much in the winter. It’s cold out there! The wind blows. It’s slippery. I have to suit up with boots and coats and mits and then either shovel my way down the sidewalk or – at the least – clean snow or scrape ice off my car. And that’s just on my way out. I get to repeat much of that again on my way home. Nope. In the wintertime I want to stay warm inside once the skies are dark. I’ll have to talk to David about having “groups” (mending, souping, or having dinner before going to a play or move) over because that might make it kind of hard for him to work or at the least would mean he’d have to work upstairs rather than in the hang-out room.
Here’s what I’m going to try. Change my schedule. Go back to the schedule that once suited me really well. I’ll try writing in the evenings instead of in the mornings and I won’t worry about working into the wee hours – those are the hours I’ve always loved the most. In the mornings I’ll sleep in a little later, meditate, read and go out for exercise. I’ll have some quiet time to just read or “be” or meet friends in the afternoon and spend leisurely time preparing dinner. But I’ll leave my “work” for the evenings.
It’s worth a try, don’t you think?
Meanwhile, spring should be less than 6 weeks away if I have any faith at all in the ground-hog! Or maybe I will fly to San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua for 10 days, taking up Carol’s offer to do some ESL practice teaching in her school there. Perhaps … hhmm … a week of hot, sunny weather doesn’t sound hard to take right now.
Isn’t retirement lovely? Open doors. That’s the best part.