Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Of cabbages and kings

I've been pretty quiet lately, despite the three posts I need to write.  I've been in one of those slumps we all have every so often, both in reading and in blogging.  I'm surrounded by wonderful books and all I do is re-read fluffy mysteries and P. G. Wodehouse!  I guess I've just been focusing on other things lately, but I'll be back soon.  Meanwhile, I'll burble a bit about my life and its new shape.

With the start of school, my life changed a lot.  I now have two kids in public high school, which makes me a retired homeschooling mom.  I did it for 12 years, and it was great, and now I'm really, really tired.  Being alone during the day is a new (and fairly wonderful) experience, though I'm not getting as much of it as I'd like; after all, I have a part-time job, and everybody else has great ideas for things I should do.  I picked up a volunteer job one morning a week -- sorting donated books for the library booksale, which will convince any book addict that there are far too many books in the world* -- and a weekly tutoring gig.
 
Book sorting job: what it looks like when we start.

Sorted, priced, and ready for sale.
I suppose at some point I will use this alone time to read and/or blog, but so far what I've mostly done is work on the house.  Any homeschooler can tell you that great housekeeping and homeschooling do not go together at all (anyone who says otherwise is selling something -- probably a system for homeschooling and keeping house at the same time), and I wasn't a great housekeeper in the first place.  I've been pretty thrilled with my decluttering progress so far!  There's plenty left to do (in the yard as well), but I'm very happy with it.

I haven't done much sewing either, but I am binding a pretty great quilt!
And I have other goals too!  I used to be a perfectly good cook, though meal planning has always been my weakness.  Between homeschooling and working, and three other people whose diets got ever-more individualized, my meal-prep skills got worn down to almost nothing.  Most of my go-to recipes were axed by a wide array of dietary needs, and I need a whole new set of planning and cooking skills.  Not to mention that I now need to keep two teenagers supplied with portable, nutritious foods to take to school and work!

I don't know how long this period of relative leisure will last.  I'm hoping to expand my hours at work, but it's a tricky prospect.  I don't want to go full-time for a few years yet; these kids may be gone for most of the day but they still need me around for a lot of things, including emotional support.  Anyway, I'm enjoying the leisure while I've got it.  I've got a massive deficit of alone time built up. 

We also have some stressful stuff going on, just like everybody else.  My husband's work has decided to shut the local office and move everything to Florida in the spring, so he's looking for a new job.  In a small city like ours, tech jobs are not as plentiful as they might be, but there are several possibilities, so he is optimistic.  This is probably why I'm mainlining comfort reads instead of tackling the pile of world literature and history on my bookshelf.

We accidentally joined the marching band. With a violin.



*Though today I got a Riverside Chaucer just like I've been wanting!

10 comments:

Kristen M. said...

It sounds like you totally have a plan which is great! I'm doing comfort reads now too -- starting my third Agatha Christie in a row tonight. Luckily, there are enough Christie books to wait out this entire administration! ;) Just kidding ... sort of.

Brona Joy said...

It's been that kind of year.

Comfort reads are called a comfort for a reason. They're the thing that keeps us going when times get tough. Relax, enjoy your leisure time, it will end all too soon, and the rest will take care of itself. As always 😊

Michelle Ann said...

Transition times can be difficult to adjust to, and I hope things soon settle into place. it sounds like you have a dream job with the books. Whilst envious, I'm glad the jobs not mine, as I would probably end up taking most of the books home!

Jean said...

Kristen, you and me both. I too read three Christies in a row, and have a giant collection of Poirot short stories too. I don't know if the supply will outlast the administration, but if I add Ngaio Marsh it might...

Thanks, Brona. I feel like I need every minute to regroup and figure things out!

Jean said...

Oh, Michelle Ann, you would not believe the dusty, useless books we get. Are you sure you would take home all the microwave cookbooks from the 70s? The finance and self-help from the 80s? I do indeed take home a fair amount, but it's amazing how many, MANY books there are out there that I do not want at all!

cleopatra said...

I'm still sad about you not homeschooling anymore, but I certainly understand being exhausted by it. I just sent my daughter off to college which was very bittersweet. She ended up with an academic scholarship and seems to be doing well. Enjoy your free time while you have it . I do hope your husband finds another job soon; I know it can be stressful in times of uncertainty but often change is good for building character and faith ..... at least that's what I tell myself. ;-) I found a Riverside Chaucer in a used bookstore and was thrilled. A good reason for a re-read!

o said...

Riverside Chaucer! Oh, you're in for some fun! I adore mine, have read every bit of it :D

Jean said...

I'm happy! I was supposed to get one back in college, but it was very expensive and so I used my mom's old edition, which was fine but the glossary was in the back and I had to give it back eventually. So now I finally have one, about 23 years later, because I didn't want to spend that $60. :D

Anonymous said...

Wow, lots of changes! It sounds like a really stressful time, but you seem to be rising to the occasion (as always). I'll send good thoughts your husband's way for the job search!

I hope you enjoy decluttering -- it's a hassle, but I always find it so cleansing once I've done it. And also, like, confusing? Like how have I managed to acquire so many things I don't need??

Jean said...

I love getting rid of things and seeing clear spaces! But somehow they always pile right back up again. I do know exactly how I got so many things; I have cluttery interests, and 3 other people in this house...anyway, yeah, things are kind of tough at the moment. I hope I'm rising. I'm a little dubious on that point right now.