I am still struggling with this thing called retirement. While it seems that I would have more time to do all the things I love to do, the truth is time flies by and I still feel like I'm running behind and not getting to the things I need to do.
Today is a good example. We were up early, around 6:30am, so we could beat the heat and get some work done before it got too miserable. This has been a tough summer, lots of 90+ degree days and little rain. We try to water as much as we can mornings and evenings without overtaxing the well. I like to take a little "porch time" to visit the pets, drink my tea and watch the morning settle in.Then breakfast and get started.
That's all good. But after breakfast there are dishes and kitchen cleanup. Then house tidying, making the bed and so on. When all that is done it's time to start on whatever vegetables need processing. Today it was cucumbers. I sorted them and got them ready for making dill pickles. Meantime Larry brings in more veggies to be sorted and decisions need to be made as to what to do with them.
While the cucumber slices were soaking in salty ice water, I took care of some business--balancing checkbooks, calling about my defective new cell phone (such a long, tiring saga that has been ongoing for almost 2 weeks--AT&T, you do not win points for this), paying bills, etc. By the time I finished with all of this it was almost 2pm and time to finish the pickles. I got them processed, then worked on Larry napped--he'd dug the potatoes this morning and was whupped. When he work up we had errands in town. Home for dinner and I began cleaning up the explosion in my office--so many programs in July led to major pile-ups in the office. I also pulled together some story ideas and other things for my programs this weekend for the Inland Waterways Festival in Marietta, OH. I stopped cleaning around 9:30 to go out on the porch and enjoy the sliver of a new moon and the night music of cicadas and tree frogs.
All in all, it was a good day. What did not happen, however, is telling: I did not write. I did not read any of the pile of novels and magazines by the couch. I did not work on finding new work for the autumn and winter months. Those things need to be done but the pressure of gardens and canning and recuperating from last month seem to be taking the driver's seat. It doesn't help that I seem to have picked up a sinus infection either.
Maybe I expect too much too soon. I feel like I am still playing catch-up as I sort and reorganize in my office and the rest of the house. There is a constant tote being filled for Goodwill, and the trash cans stay full as I work through files. The kitchen is always calling, for cleaning or cooking or canning. I wonder if I need to turn off that siren call, ignore it to work on the kind of things that produce something as green as garden produce--money! And yet, who can let a five gallon bucket of tomatoes go to waste? Not me!
This is actually my first 5-day break without a performance scheduled since I retired. After this week, I have many days without gigs. Which is good and bad--no work, no money. No work, more time. Will I eventually learn to balance all of these demands and learn to prioritize them? I think so. I hope so. Sometime in the next few weeks or months, maybe I will find that magical place called balance.