Schools were already divided into grades and contained in brick building complexes by the time I got there, in spite of what my children and grandchildren will tell you, but the original one-room schoolhouse concentrated on simple education of the three R’s . Readin’, (w)ritin’, and (a)rithmetic.
‘Rithmetic wasn’t my fortè, yet I grew up and ended up in a job that is about 80% math, so go figure. But words have always been a part of my life - I can’t remember NOT reading, and I’ve told you before of listening to my father tell stories and quote poetry - and those of you that know me know I haven’t stopped talking since 1950.
So the reading and the writing are a huge part of my relaxation time. I love creating stories, with new worlds and characters. And writers should read. A lot. Reading keeps our fingers on the pace of our world – changing styles, what is catching other people’s fancy these days (and what’s been done to death!), and keeping our minds sharp. Plus, we enjoy it!
But here’s the thing. Calculating prep for work, work, and winding down afterward, errands and just plain living, as well as a little sleep time (Oh yeah. Forgot that, didn’t you?) I figure I’ve got about 2 hours a day to myself. With so little free time, I find myself in a quandary in the evening.
Should I read, and let the dishes stay in the sink? The ants are already having a picnic in the kitchen. If I start that new book, and it’s good, I won’t be able to put it down. Anyway, I should really be writing. That story or poem won’t write itself. Again, if I get deep into it, time will fly. Sometimes my characters just won’t let me say goodbye, once I’ve started conversing with them – and 6 a.m. comes mighty early.
The math involved – dividing my time between reading and writing and finding time for the things I must do – yeah, those ants really need to go – is a constant struggle. I wish I could clone myself and multiply the output. But right now, all those hours add up to more than 24, so I need to subtract something and do some logical problem-solving to put things into proper order. On my way home every night, I start figuring… It takes 2 hours for the lawn, so that can wait until the weekend, but..
You know, I’ve been figuring out priorities all day. I’m tired of math. So – just like in school – the kid in me wins out. The ants can continue their picnic…for a while. Where’s my Kindle?