Friday, September 11, 2015

Working vs Not Working

I could be retired, and, in fact, made decisions not to submit applications, or otherwise do anything that would lead to a job. I was tired. The last two years of my working life were, by far, the hardest. Here comes the shocker: I worked 43 years as a teacher or librarian. Yes, 43 years! I remember back in the day saying that anyone who stayed in teaching for 40 or more year must have something seriously wrong. No,  the explanation is simple. It's just what we know and certainly beats many other jobs.

All that and still I've not reached my topic: working vs not working, specifically at retirement age. So far, I've worked nine years past retirement, spent two years in graduate school, and only two years not working at anything except what I've wanted to do. As you can imagine, not working makes for a fast day. There are no broken spaces where the day is in chunks, as it is when you're working. A non-working day just zips by. There are no markers like work has: no bells, no deadlines, just one whole day that is over by the time you turn your head.

I have a retired friend who sets a schedule for the day. She chunks it, making her day have  interludes, thus slowing it down.  But then, she is structured and I'm random.  I don't keep a schedule, except in my mind's eye, but I know I will spend time sewing, time in the yard, time de-hoarding hoards of stuff in my house. Oh, I didn't mention my vast hoards of stuff? Just another dimension of my interesting (and troubled) character. My day is over before I have time to think.

But the main reason not to work is the liberation it brings. No one tells me what to do, except, of course, Uncle Sam and my 94-year-old mother who informed me the other day that she is a boss. OK, so retirement is not totally free, but close enough. In fact, I was telling my mother just today what I think of not working. There was a billboard along the local interstate shortly after my divorce years ago. It said: Got bills? And every single time I passed that billboard, I shouted: Not any more!! You see, the ex-'s name was Bill. So, working? I feel the same way: Not any more!!

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A favorite souvenir

A favorite souvenir
These are my two girls from Ireland!

Judy's shared items

Books on my very ambitious TBR list (*denotes read)

  • *Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever by Mem Fox
  • The Odd Women by George Gissing
  • The Zen of Fish by Trevor Corson
  • How to Get Your Child to Love Reading by Esme Raji Codell
  • The Cod Tale by Mark Kurlansky
  • In This House of Brede by Rumer Godden
  • *Joan of Arc by Mark Twain
  • Dag Hammarskjold by Elizabeth Rider Montgomery
  • The Wisdom in the Hebrew Alphabet by Rabbi Michael L. Munk
  • Children of Strangers by Lyle Saxon
  • Spiritual Writings by Flannery O'Connor
  • Nightmares and Visions: Flannery O'Connor and the Catholic Grotesque by Gilbert H. Muller
  • The Violent Bear It Away by Flannery O'Connor
  • Flannery O'Connor's South by Robert Coles
  • Wise Blood by Flannery O'Connor
  • Sylvanus Now by Donna Morrissey
  • *Vincent de Paul by Margaret Ann Hubbard
  • Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
  • A Briefer History of Time by Stephen Hawking
  • The Library at Night by Alberto Manguel
  • Readicide by Kelly Gallagher
  • *Ruined by Paula Morris
  • Say You're Not One of Them by Uwem Akpan
  • Wandering Star by J.M.G. Le Clezio
  • Silence by Shusaku Endo
  • *The Assault by Harry Mulisch
  • Kari's Saga by Robert Jansson
  • *The German Mujahid by Boualem Sansal
  • Western Skies by Joseph Conrad
  • *The Giver by Lois Lowery
  • *Imperium by Ryszard Kapuscinski

School Library Journal - NeverEndingSearch


A semester course in one book about the Soviet Union. Click on image for my review.