What would you do?

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What would you do?

Postby BadgerJelly on December 1st, 2017, 12:10 am 

If you had 9 hours a day, 4 days a week, set aside for personal pursuits what would you fill your time with?

How would you structure your time?

I ask because this is my current situation and I'm finding it difficult to balance and divide recreation, learning skills and practical study.

note: Currently writing an essay titled "How to make the perfect schedule and stick to it."
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Re: What would you do?

Postby Braininvat on December 1st, 2017, 11:04 am 

Have you considered a new hobby? Are you at all musical? Do you like to draw/paint? Creative writing, poetry? (I enjoy playing piano and improvising jazz arrangements) If I had more time, I might write a sci-fi novel, though poetry comes more naturally to me when I sit down with a pen and paper. There's also social work on a volunteer basis - is there hunger and poverty where you live? Do soup kitchens need volunteers? Do kids need after-school tutoring in a subject you know well? What about reading classics of literature you always meant to read but never got around to? Or you could do what Dickens did - take very long walks and observe human life.

And don't rule out macaroni sculpture!
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Re: What would you do?

Postby BadgerJelly on December 2nd, 2017, 8:35 am 

Biv -

The last one is something I have not considered, but something I do admire about Dickens :)

My pursuits are mostly intellectual. I do write poetry, and I have a few bits and pieces in terms of novel writing going on. I am going to start painting in January too.

Basically looking for something to fill in my time on my day off. The 9 hours are going to be mostly dedicated to study, research and putting together technical writings (essays and that kind of thing.)
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Re: What would you do?

Postby Serpent on December 2nd, 2017, 11:19 am 

Since early retirement, my time is not structured externally. ...
That wasn't exactly a lie - I was going to say there are unscheduled demands on my time. One of those came along just as I was typing that: a reminder that the post office closes at noon today, and i'd better make a move if I'm to send off the current shipment.
Will return directly.
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Re: What would you do?

Postby Serpent on December 2nd, 2017, 4:27 pm 

Twenty-frickin-eight dollars to send a pocket-sized book to Massachusetts (Ha, got the spelling right, first shot! That hardly ever happens.)

Anyway, my time allocation does have some structure and logic to it. Here is how a day goes:

Wake up when the bladder alarm goes off. If it's light out, stay awake, unless it was a very late night.
After basic maintenance, stomp into boots, go out and fill bird-feeders.

Put on water for coffee for self and anyone who is in the office (other side of semi-detached house). I'll even make tea, if they ask nicely - but not cocoa! Find socks, go to workroom, turn on computer. (Everything is on power-bars with switches, so the appliances and electronics don't drain power while ostensibly turned off.) Deal with email as appropriate.
Get dressed, if I feel like it or the house is cold - usually in sweat suit - or stay in nightwear - usually thermal underwear (simply the world's most comfortable apparel. On holidays, I might even colour-match them instead of wearing the blue bottom with the grey top - the range is limited.)
Find a muffin or something to go with the coffee.

If nobody is talking at me (I'm still grumpy from the interruption of an interesting dream, and probably won't answer: input only.) read latest assigned printed draft, dislodge D2 from lap several times, with decreasing gentleness. (He's one of the feral cats that adopted us last winter; the one that drools, often smells gamey and craves people-food. His brother, R2, is a velcro monkey; even harder to detach. I didn't name them.) With any momentarily free hand, make some margin notes. If no assigned reading, indulge in a table-side book or cryptogram.

Water indoor plants, greenhouse and south window; collect day's harvest in season.
Mood considerably lifted; if there were ripe Cherokee purples or long curly Chinese beans, I could be positively convivial. Off-season, I can still hope for a handful of basil or a salad-worth of fresh spinach.
Plants have restorative powers like nothing else.

Confer with SO (who is a ridiculously early riser and will have finished a full day's mandatory tasks by now) and cousin(s) whether it's a town day and who is going. (We're all over 65, so life pretty much revolves around appointments - doctor, dentist, optometrist, physiotherapy, labs - and involves many waiting rooms. Internally lit E-readers with adjustable font size are a boon.) If so, package any books that have to be shipped out and save a separate trip. Make/add to shopping/errand list. Change clothes, fill water bottle; find watch, shoes, driving glasses, keys. Leave list on packing table. (I thought you had it!)
The really big treat is an estate auction or library sale in another town. We pack lunch, snacks and drinks, but may stop in a restaurant for dinner if we're coming home late. We don't drive out of province anymore, and haven't flown anywhere since 1993, but we sometimes take a day-trip to the Huron shore or one of the provincial parks. One benefit of retirement is being able to go weekdays to all the places wage-slaves and parents can only go on weekends. We have our best talks and story ideas on a long drive.

If it's a stay home day, get some work done between soap-boxing, Jig-zone, background research for a ?story and Solitaire. If it's going badly, or the author I'm having to edit or critique is even less literate than the norm, I can go a few steps over to the bench and give a piece of maple some whacks with a chisel, organize a storage unit, go to the drafting table and design a book cover or self-sufficient house; maybe throw some dabs of paint at a canvas; maybe sweep under the furniture and empty the bins. My workroom is a bit crowded; it required a cunning layout to fit everything in (since the SO insists on a comfortable visitor's chair,) but it's really convenient, has a large south-facing window (very important in winter) and a functional door.
If there are books to list and shelve or cull, or mss to discuss, or decisions to make, I'll spend a couple of hours in the business offices. Make more tea, feed outdoor cats, wash dishes to clear space for lunch preparation. It's do-your-own, but SO and I make a point of having that one meal together every day, regardless of our eccentric schedules.

After lunch, which may be any time between noon and 3pm, I try to get a walk in. The new growth bush in the ex gravel pit behind our place affords some amusement, dead-wood, grape vine and other vegetation for crafts, and plenty of soul-food with its green air and bird activity, as well as healthy exercise. That's getting harder with bad hip. At least I do some physical work in the garden, can still bring in and stack the firewood, do small repairs. In wintertime, I walk as often as possible in the mall and big stores, people-watching. Home Depot is always a good venue. I do a bit of dumpster-diving there for craft materials, while also pricing tools and supplies that I'll later probably buy at Deals or Restore.

Years past, I taught ESL at a high-school; before that, as part of a barter group exchange I had three adolescent pottery students (They're endlessly fascinating, though they hurt your ears.) I used to volunteer at the library, and the adult literacy program, but had to drop those commitments due to health issues. Some years, we took part in farmers' and craft markets and were on a studio tour. Those are all great places to keep in touch with people outside the family business, and I miss them. The last few weeks, there have been some extra tasks associated with the property of our friend who moved into a seniors' apartment in a distant city. That's a melancholy enterprise!

If it's my turn to cook, 4-6 pm are filled.
After dinner, I finish any computer work that's on deadline - which might take a few minutes or the whole evening. Most evenings are free to goof off, socialize, watch TV. During the late evening programs, when everyone's gone home or to bed, I bring a piece of wood-work for sanding - otherwise, I get a lapful of cat. Beer and snacks.
Feed them again. Toss out any that don't live full-time in the house. The less they're locked in, the less litter-changing. Once the snow comes... ugh.

To bed, whenever. Must read some fiction before sleep, no matter how late, how tired, how buzzing with questions, anticipation or anxiety.
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Re: What would you do?

Postby Braininvat on December 3rd, 2017, 11:37 am 

Nice slice of life! Hard for me to imagine living next to a business but yours sounds like a pleasant one, something to do with bookselling, small press publishing, if I'm following. I find time spent outdoors, regardless of season, is essential to my wellbeing and morale. I try to make sure outdoor things stay deeply embedded in the routine.
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Re: What would you do?

Postby Serpent on December 3rd, 2017, 1:20 pm 

Yes. Outdoors is life.
The loss of it is our Big Fear that our friend's departure stirred up again.
The day is inexorably approaching when we can't physically cope with country living.
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Re: What would you do?

Postby BadgerJelly on December 3rd, 2017, 10:07 pm 

Nice read :)
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Re: What would you do?

Postby wolfhnd on December 4th, 2017, 12:40 am 

It isn't so important what you do as how you experience the experience.

We can't control the external world to any great extent but we have some limited control over the internal world. I don't subscribe to the don't worry be happy philosophy but I'm happy with my worries.

We have emotions not just to direct our actions but to initiate action. If we are happy we may become passive and inactive. We know from personal and collective experience that inactivity is death, that if we do not plan, and work we will not exist. We are also social animals so we are animated to interact.

There are minimal conditions for happiness, minimal conditions to satisfy emotional drives. Humans however have the ability to live inside their minds. We can choose to make the space inside our minds a happy place and share it.
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Re: What would you do?

Postby BadgerJelly on December 4th, 2017, 12:52 am 

Yeah wolf. My main issue is finding the kind of people who I can share my mind with! haha!

Intellectual stimulation is general something I have found I have a very high ceiling for, whilst others are interested to a degree over all I find them switching off from what really gets me going.

I have this forum, a couple of other forums, and one person who I actually see about once a month. The rest is in books or writing.
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Re: What would you do?

Postby Braininvat on December 4th, 2017, 12:48 pm 

To really succeed as an intellectual, you should change your forum name to its French translation, Gelee de Blaireau. I notice that Lomax was giving you a leg up, in this regard, a few days ago.
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Re: What would you do?

Postby Serpent on December 4th, 2017, 1:09 pm 

wolfhnd » December 3rd, 2017, 11:40 pm wrote: I don't subscribe to the don't worry be happy philosophy but I'm happy with my worries.
.....
We have emotions not just to direct our actions but to initiate action.

I'm so pleased to have someone else endorse that philosophy!
The smile-culture* of the last few decades has been driving me buggy. That whole "If you're not cheerful all the time, we'll have to adjust you or shrink you or medicate you." attitude is just plain wrong. Sadness is appropriate to many life situations, and nobody gets to say how long you should mourn for whatever you've lost - a parent, a pet or even a gold watch. Anger is sometimes appropriate, as are anxiety, suspicion and fear. Sometimes it's appropriate to seek solitude and mull things over.
(*... and, no, your teeth do not need to be whiter than a Kleenex.)
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