Posted tagged ‘work’

“Nothing irritates me more than chronic laziness in others. Mind you, it’s only mental sloth I object to. Physical sloth can be heavenly.”

August 12, 2016

I didn’t leave the house yesterday except to water the plants on the deck. That has become a daily chore. The plants dry and wilt from the sun and the heat so I feel guilty unless I water them. I do have to go out today, but I figure the traffic will be light. Tourists will be wherever they can feel cool, and I doubt in cars and on the road won’t be their choices. The weather report has the possibility of rain here today and tomorrow. I don’t believe it.

Before I had AC in the house, I used to go to a matinee and sit in the air conditioning to watch a movie. It was a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.

In the paper today was an article about Massachusetts investigating the possibility of changing time zones from Eastern Standard Time to Atlantic Standard Time. People are dreading winter when the sun sets at 4 o’clock, and it sometimes starts to get dark at 3. We already fall back and spring ahead so changing wouldn’t be all that unfamiliar. The only drawback was being on a different time than New York and Washington. Someone suggested Massachusetts Savings Time but that seems a bit ego-centric.

 

I’m not doing much in the heat, but there isn’t really a whole lot to do. I have a couple of cabinets needing to be organized, but cabinet organization is really far too deep on my list to consider. It seems more like a winter chore.

When I worked, my life was far more departmentalized. My daily stuff mostly revolved around work. I got up at 5 or 5:15, watched the early news as my papers weren’t delivered yet and had two cups of coffee. I left for work around 6:20, arrived by 6:30 and then  organized my day. I got home around 4. I read the papers and my mail, made dinner, showered and went to bed no later than 10. Monday to Friday never really varied.

The weekends were for cleaning the house, doing the laundry and going to the dump. Friday and Saturday nights were empty dance cards waiting to be filled.

Now, despite having all the time in the world, I run out of time. My lists seldom get finished so I move the undone items to the next day. I do the same thing every day so I always have a never ending list, but I have learned not to care. It took some time but I’m now quite comfortable with lazy days, with being a sloth and with unfinished lists.

“He would pore by the hour, o’er a weed or a flower, / Or the slugs that come crawling out after a shower.”

June 25, 2015

The sun had set but it was not dusk yet. It was that nether time between light and dark, day and night. I stood looking out the front door. Everything was still but not quiet. I could hear birds singing from all directions then from the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse though I wasn’t quite sure so I kept watching. Then it happened again and again, the blink of a firefly, on the lawn. Ever since I was a kid, I have always believed fireflies are magical, fairies like Tinker Bell waving their wands as they fly between trees, through flower beds and atop the blades of grass. The first firefly of the season made me clap and smile. The fairies are back.

Yesterday was a sweaty, grubby day for me. I repotted plants, painted a table and my old fountain red and the last part of the fence by the back door, the one keeping Gracie in the yard, green. I swept the outside shower clear of spiders and webs. I got my fountain together though it was a struggle because one piece was so heavy I could carry it up to the deck only a step at a time. It took three trips to get it altogether. The new pump fit the fountain perfectly, but there was a problem. The pump plug didn’t fit into the outlet. I was beyond frustrated. Today I will try to buy something to solve the problem.

Last night’s shower was glorious. I know the word glorious sounds strange when coupled with shower, but that’s the truth. I stood under the warm water and let all of the day’s labor, all of the sweat and all of the frustration wash away.

Today is another beautiful day, even better than yesterday as there is no humidity. It is an outside the house day with four errands on my list. The top errand is finding the plug for the outlet so the fountain plug will fit. That last sentence somehow reminds me of lines from Farmer in the Dell. The rat takes the cheese; the outlet takes the plug. Hi-Ho, the Derry-O the outlet takes the plug.

“The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine.”

November 5, 2013

The sun is among the missing. It’s been gone a while. Today is dark and bleak. Very little color is left in my yard except for one small tree next to the drive-way. Its has red leaves, brilliant red leaves against the backdrop of empty branches.

 I filled the feeders yesterday, and I got really cold. My fingers were the coldest of all. I filled three feeders with sunflower seeds and two with thistle. I also filled one suet feeder, cleaned out the bird bath and added water to it. When I looked later, the birds had descended in full force. When I looked after that, a red spawn was inside one of the feeders. I ran out and scared it so much the panicked spawn had trouble getting out from behind the wires on the feeder. I kept running at it, and the spawn was close enough to touch before it jumped to a branch. It is the same spawn who got hosed all summer. I’m thinking a squirt gun as the hose is put away for the winter. 

When I was young, we’d go into Boston, to the Public Garden, and ride the swan boats. The boat pond was always filled with ducks and the garden itself had a million squirrels and pigeons. People would sit on benches and feed the birds and the squirrels pieces of bread and peanuts from vendors who sold them from red carts along the walkways. I always wanted to feed the squirrels. I thought they were cute. What did I know? I was little. 

Life is filled with routine. It starts when we go to school. We get up every weekday, eat breakfast, get dressed and walk to school. The subjects come in the same order every day except on music and art day. We eat lunch at the same time every day. We go out for recess unless it’s raining. High school doesn’t change the routine much. For me the only difference was I took a bus every day, every day at the same time with the same people. The subjects still came in order. Lunch was at the same time every day . We didn’t have recess but we did go out for air in the small fenced in yard behind the school.

College is when the routine starts to change, and we begin to taste the freedom of choice. Pick your own classes mindful of the schedule. Eat when you have time. Sit around and play cards in the canteen. Skip a class now and then. 

After college, the routine reasserts itself at work. Be there at a certain time, eat lunch at the same time as yesterday and the day before and the day before that, teach the same classes in the same order every day. Go home around the same time every day. That, however, was the first routine I barely noticed and never minded. I didn’t like the getting up part, but I loved the work part. I loved my first two years in Ghana and I loved the next thirty-three here on the cape. I think loving what you do makes the day joyful though not every day because we couldn’t be that lucky, but it does for most days. 

 I have no routine now, and I’m glad. I get to choose whatever my day will be. It doesn’t get much better than that.

“I like work: it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours.”

May 10, 2013

I just got back from my monthly breakfast with friends, all who are, like me, retired. I wasn’t sure whether it was 9 or 9:30 so I went for 9. I was early so I sat in the car and watched the world round me. Fog came rolling down the street from the ocean. It also hovered over the marsh behind the houses across the street. An old man shuffled out of the breakfast spot to his car which had taken up two spaces: the front end had one and the back end the other. He opened his trunk, looked in and then closed it again. I guess all was well in his trunk. He got in his car and left which freed up two spaces. People went in and out of the small post office. In front of me was a grove of beautiful red trees. I listened to the radio while I waited and then when one of my friends came, we went inside.

The morning is spectacular. Fluffy clouds dot the deep blue sky, and it is time to change to sandals, time to put away my winter shoes. Yesterday it rained a bit, and I heard a long and loud clap of thunder, as loud as any I’ve heard in a while. I expected a downpour, but it never came; instead, it merely sprinkled for a while.

Last night was trivia, and we reigned supreme. Many of the answers worked in our favor, we who are a bit older. One bonus was name the mother in each sitcom. I figured Donna Stone of the Donna Reed Show was not going to be answered by the younger teams. Even the music was easy. Usually the questions ask for groups totally unknown to me. Last night the first question was what duo was originally named Caesar and Cleo. I hopped right on that one. The next music question was whose first hit was A Tisket A Tasket in 1938. East enough-I play it here some Easters. At the end, before the final question, we were tied for second, a spot we were in most of the evening. The category was states and we bet 25, the maximum. The question was name the state admitted to the union in 1863 which first wanted to be called Kanawha. It was another answer I knew right away but I had to convince a couple of my teammates: one of whom wanted Arkansas and the other California. They had no reason, just hunches. When I explained why, they went with my answer. That put us over the top and we won! It made me glad that some of my memory drawers are filled with answers which are generally useless except for trivia contests. They are the drawers with cobwebs and a few mice.

Nothing on tap for the weekend. Rain is expected so maybe I’ll clean out that cabinet I’ve been eyeing for a while. But then again, maybe I won’t. It sounds a bit too much like actual work to me. I think I’m allergic!


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