Earlier in the year my 'fantasy retirements mornings' were filled with harp practice, walking, regular blogging and keeping on top of the housework. The afternoons were going to be more sociable - meeting friends, crafting, clubs, and my working with my instrumental pupils.
Hmmmm...... at the moment I have absolutely no routine whatsoever. Don't get me wrong - I'm having masses of fun and I'm loving every moment of it - but I've spent my whole life following rigid timetables so this feels very, very weird. Even as a teenager, my life was completely regimented by a programme of practice, homework, orchestras and clubs. My 'Fly Paper Memory' (everything sticks to it!) means that I could probably still work out what I was doing at 4.30 pm on a Tuesday in February 1984. I have 26 years of teaching timetables stuck in my memory archives too.
At the moment I'm trying to bring a small sense of 'order' to this apparent free-flow. Each morning I write a little list of tasks for the day, then each week I write a more general and aspirational lists. I must confess that I feel better when I've started to tick these tasks as completed. (Old teaching habits die very hard.....!)
However I can see that the benefits of all this flexibility and I'm trying not to beat myself up if I my lists remain un-ticked for a few days. Last Friday afternoon my piano pupil cancelled, so Mark and I took the chance to enjoy a walk in the sunshine through Worcester. I'm so glad that I had my camera with me because the colours were amazing...
The river was really still, which gave some great reflections...
On Saturday I had plenty of time to prepare H's celebration meal
(H is next to her Dad at the top of the table)
...and on Tuesday morning I spent a couple of hours making a fabric bag for H's charity raffle at the beginning of November. (This is another 'stash-busting' project - using some 1990s Dorma fabric from my Mum's hoard and some pretty pink/white lining. The Raffle is going to raise money for Breast Cancer so I thought the pink was appropriate.)
This morning I'm collecting Mum from church in an hour or so then we're driving over to the Cotswolds to collect some specialist car parts for Mark. It's about 2 hours driving through a lovely part of the world, so Mum's coming along for a natter and lunch. We will probably get back around mid-afternoon. After that I've got harp practice to do (and I'd like to start cutting out an apron). At 5.15 I'm leaving the house again and walking down to my sisters for a catch up chat. She lives two miles away so that walk covers my daily exercise regime. Once I get home again it will be time to make dinner, catch up with Mark, maybe make up the apron, then bath and bed!
SO MUCH NICER than school politics and marking!
(This week a number of former colleagues have contacted me for the first time. It seems that things are seriously 'sour' and everyone seems to be trying to second guess the intentions of the SMT. Ugly rumours about restructuring, cost cutting etc are rife... I hate to see my friends under so much pressure - but it also makes me feel even more content with the path I've chosen.)
I hope that you are having a good week.