Saturday, 7 September 2013
How Did I Ever Find Time to Work?
Sunset at Mindil Beach, Darwin, NT.
That tiny black speck to the right of the setting sun is actually a parasailer, not a speck on the camera lens.
Since finally retiring at the end of June, after a couple of attempts in the past, life has been busier than ever...with one major difference. Now I'm doing things I want to do rather than things I have to do. I finally realised I was well past retirement age, work was becoming rather more than ho hum and there was absolutely no need to keep on with that routine. Of course, the fact that more was being asked of me...I was meant to be part time only but more often than not worked full time hours...helped the decision making process. Not that there was much soul searching involved. After one particular episode when I was working on what was supposed to be my day off, to the astonishment of the practice manager, I decided I'd had enough. It's a decision I've never regretted.
I started line dancing again, after a gap of about 20 years; I finally had more time to spend on my writing and...I have started learning Italian! I also belong to a writers' group but I've been attending those meetings for quite some time. All this meant that I've met new people and become close friends with some, my social life has picked up enormously and I spend less time in front of the computer...that has to be a bonus!
Of course, it also means that my petrol bill has jumped as I used to work from home so rarely used my car. Still, the extra petrol is a minor consideration as far as I'm concerned.
Yesterday, Saturday, I was at a writers' work shop for most of the day. The facilitator of our writers' group runs these work shops. They're small, informal and usually held in someone's home. We each bring our lunch and work very hard assimilating all the information given to us. However, we are given a work book to take home with us...which is very useful because it's hard to retain information that one only hears. This particular work shop was on marketing and electronic publishing for those who have a book almost at that stage. Traditional publishing is very expensive and there is no guarantee one's book will be accepted by a publisher. Plus the returns if the books sells are minimal as the publisher takes a great chunk of it. Not only that, it can take from six months to a couple of years before the writer sees any reward (monetary, that is). So it's a no brainer which avenue is more profitable for the writer!
I've been learning Italian online and the programme I use is very good. However, I needed conversation for the inflection and correct pronunciation of the language and enrolled in an afternoon class held on a Thursday afternoon through University of the Third Age. Our tutor, Lucio, is Italian and a lovely fellow who is very patient with our Australian pronunciation and general mutilation of his beautiful language. Again, I have met some lovely people and we enjoy not only learning the language but also learning about the culture. I mustn't forget the unforgettable Italian cuisine! We were talking about the various pastas a couple of weeks ago. I then went home and made Italian meatballs in homemade tomato sauce. I adore garlic so they were lovely and garlicky with plenty of Parmesan cheese to top it off...mmmm bellissima!
Of course, we have "homework" to do each week. One week it suggested we write about something incorporating the Italian so I painstakingly researched the subject then sweated over writing about it in Italian. I proudly read out my effort and Lucio looked extremely puzzled. He asked me to read it out in English, which I did. His face lit up "Ah, now I see!" I'd left out a key word, hadn't I, and the whole thing made no sense whatsoever. Poor Lucio...
Of course interspersed with these activities is the usual...grocery shopping, going to lunch (someone referred to me as Lady Lunchalot), etc. Life is good when one stops work...I don't miss it a bit!