I’ve been on leave for five months so I thought I’d provide a bit of an update on my progress. I always have big plans but I’m not always good at executing them, so this is really an accountability exercise as much as anything. Also, people keep asking me what I’ve been doing, so here’s a potted summary.
I’ve made a bit of progress with my “to do” list. Several cupboards have been cleaned out and quite a few books and clothes have found their way to the charity shop which have now re-opened. I’m sure they are drowning in a sea of things that people have decided they don’t want any more. I gave away all my old linen and then realised that I could have used them as drop-sheets when I was painting.
I haven’t tackled the photos. I was going to sort through the ones I have in hard copy from the olden days and digitise them, but I haven’t even opened the boxes. There are literally hundreds of them, if not thousands. It’s my least favourite task (too emotional) so I’ll probably put that off until I’m well and truly retired.
I’ve painted the spare-room and just need to buy a new blind for it to be completely finished. I was going to buy some new carpet but decided to save some money and have the existing carpet cleaned. It looks better than it did before. Some of the painting is a bit dodgy, especially around the skirting boards. I threw out the old mattress and then spent hours reading mattress reviews so that I could purchase the perfect replacement. The last two mattresses I bought have been too hard, so I was determined to choose well this time around. I’m not sure I have as it’s a little bit high. Just as well no tiny people are likely to be sleeping in that bed or they will need a ladder to get in and out.
The garden hasn’t had much attention because I hurt my back moving some furniture. It also meant that the painting was undertaken at the speed of a snail, if not slower. I’ve had a few trips to the physiotherapist so I just need to be patient and do my exercises so that I can attack the weeds which are growing profusely after some decent rain.
I’ve been writing a fair bit. I’ve done two short courses in non-fiction writing which have both been interesting. I wrote a few intros to a book about retiring and then my enthusiasm just petered out. It’s not that I don’t think I can write a book, but perhaps that’s too much to tackle as a writing project. An article I read recently suggested that it was foolish for people to plan to write a book when they haven’t even written any short stories. I think that there’s some truth in that. I probably should try writing some essays or articles first.
I’ve been looking at the structure of non-fiction books with a much more critical eye. I’m interested in seeing how the contents are organised and I’ve learnt quite a lot by just observing the conventions of the form.
I’ve had a lot more time for reading but my TBR (to be read) list is growing by the day. The more time you spend reading about books, the more books you find that you absolutely MUST read. I’m not bothered by this; I would probably choose to read a book before doing anything else.
I’ve been doing lots of cooking and eating and made some particularly nice marmalade this week. Hubby has continued with his bread-making so we’ve always got some nice bread at hand.
Most of all, I’ve been having fun and trying not to watch the news. I hope you are all doing well and making some progress towards your goals, big or small.
5 thoughts on “August update”
Well, you haven’t had much difficulty keeping yourself busy! I always wonder how I’ll manage when I retire (not too far off), but, like you, I have other interests besides work and really could do with sorting out this house – and my decorating skills are not disimiar to yours, I think 😉
One of the nice things about having more time is that you can finally get around to doing all the things that you’ve been putting off doing, but having said that, I find you can still manage to avoid the things you don’t really like doing.
I’m extremely good at avoiding doing stuff 😂
That’s a pretty good achievement. Given that Covid (which wasn’t in your pre-retirement plans) has impacted everyone, you can be proud of what you have done. On another issue, I’m not sure that short story writing is a pre-requisite to writing a novel. They are completely different forms. Short stories are really quite difficult to write as they require complete focus on one thing and so many novels I read wander off into multiple themes. Perhaps write a few articles as you suggest. Keep up the writing in any form.
Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I know it can be a pain to log in and such, but I really do appreciate your support.
Another wise friend said the same thing about writing short stories. They are a genre all of their own and not necessarily a stepping stone to a novel. I’m mainly interested in writing non-fiction so I think that’s probably where I should be directing my efforts. Another wise person said that it was better to write badly than not to write at all and I think that’s probably good advice as well.