I am retired. I have been retired for about 5 years. My days are often wide open and I am free to follow whatever schedule I would like. It is an amazing thing to think about. Especially as I watch teachers gearing up for the next school year. Here in Minneapolis, Mn. the teachers are at meetings or in their classroom preparing for the students that will arrive next week. They are super busy but I know that a few of them and many of you across the country who may already be back in school are writing. You are making that commitment to write and to post every week. I am impressed and delighted.
I, who has the time, has been a lazy goof. I have had plenty of ideas but seem to have trouble sitting at my computer each Monday or Tuesday to put my thoughts in order. It is not like I have been Rip Van Wrinkle sleeping this summer away but I have not kept to my personal goals to write weekly. I had told myself I would write twice a week. Once on Tuesday for Two Writing Teachers and again on Friday on my other blog about Learning in a Wild Garden. Well, I did not do very well.
I wrote here at Words from JL maybe every other week and I think the garden site got one up date at some point this summer. I guess I should go back and look at that poor lonely site.
So what did I do? Why did I not write – well in fact I did write but I moved away from electronic writing. (Not planned just happened)
My summer consisted of working in the garden – mainly teaching Japanese Beetles to swim (glad they didn’t learn – a few less beetles eating my plants is a good thing). I wrote in my garden journal notebook most days keeping track of what is happening out there in the dirt. I checked out from the library and read parts of lots of garden books but I don’t think I finished any of them.
I wrote in my paper personal journal keeping track of the days. I find at this “older” age I can’t remember well when we went on a special vacation or when my son moved to live downtown or my daughter took a trip to China – what year was that? So I am writing a few paragraphs each day of what happened that day. Most of the time just the facts of the day. A few days that writing has gotten more involved but it holds the small moments of each day to be remembered later.
I started my drawing again. Oh – does that need work. After taking classes and talking to friends I am back at it again realizing just like writing one gets better if they keep working at it daily or at least often. So I am drawing and using colored pencils to create small images of beets, barley, a mint plant, or tomatoes. Really drawing things I find in the garden. Vesper Stamper, who wrote When the Night Sings, has been a great inspiration for me. Check out her Facebook page – she is working on small paintings of and plants for a new book – learning to use gouache well. (Gouache is a water-based medium that falls somewhere between acrylic and watercolor.) She includes a few videos of her process. So fun to watch and learn from. I am sticking with pencil color for now. I don’t trust myself with paints yet. (Her painting below pulled from her Facebook page)
I am walking each morning – determined to bring my cholesterol down without statins. So far so good. It is coming down slowly but surely. That story is for another day but my doctor is happy and I was not given more drugs to take. So walking I do daily.
There are the day to day things that happen like reading, cleaning, dentists and eye doctor appointments, traveling to support family members and see friends. The summer has flown by and my writing and posting has fallen off the schedule.
Now as the weather cools, at least for today, I am putting my blog writing back on the schedule. Looking to see how I can use my time wisely to write, post and still keep my other writing and drawing going. There is indeed enough time I just need to use my schedule. If I could get this done when I was teaching and certainly can find a way to write when I am retired.
So the calendar is out. I am scheduling a set time to write for my blogs and I will hope I can be more focused as fall arrives. I will just say this was summer vacation from writing and posting and now I will return to “work”. The work of writing my blogs.
How is your writing routine going and will you be able to keep it going as we move into fall and winter? What tricks do you use to continue to write with life gets busy or side tracks you to other events?
Oh, Joanne, I totally loved this post. You have so many interests. Your gardening, your journaling, and drawing all intrigue me. I love that you keep a day-to-day journal. Summer has flown by, but there’s a certain satisfaction felt when one isn’t headed back to the classroom. It makes commitments to other things a little easier. Congrats on your walking habit and here’s to focused fall! I am terrified that if I quit writing, even for a short time, that I’ll never come back. So I keep posting,but it’s harder to find things to write about without a classroom community.
I know that feeling. I think it is why I keep coming back. I worry about my brain going to mush. Writing really helps the brain to think. Glad you like the post.
Thank you for sharing your days, interests, and struggles! I found myself nodding my head and agreeing to so much of what you wrote. I am not retired – but due to military change of station and the recent birth of my son I am not returning to the classroom this year (or the next few maybe?) and am struggling to find consistency in my days with a newborn! I have tried much more in the past few weeks to get back to my blog writing but have fallen in my personal journal writing. You have helped me remember how important that is! Thank you!