Lookout Mountain, Chattanooga

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The life of this retiree

My entries have slowed down considerably. There’s a reason for that. I’m retired. And, by retired, I mean busy.

Sure, I read an occasional book. Well, make that seven Steve Hamilton books in eight days. But when I read that many books at once, I feel guilty. And when I feel guilty, I make sure that I clean, prepare meals, call bingo, deliver meals, mow the lawn, and zumba.

Speaking of zumba, I usually attend class three times a week and teach class once a week. On my days off, I zumba at home. Now, I have another zumba possibility in the works—in a city thirty minutes away. And why would I do that?

I’ll be there anyway. I’m signed up for an art class at the Alabama Center for the Arts in Decatur. Offered through Calhoun Community College, art and all other classes are tuition-free (although registration fees are required) for those who are age-challenged and willing to go through the application process (which is easy-peasy; it took them a day to accept me as a student and didn’t cost me anything other than the price of a transcript). The class meets twice a week/five hours a week from Aug. 15 to Dec. 15. I think I’ll be getting my money’s worth since, even with the registration fees, class boils down to less than $1 an hour. I now know that I have a little bit of talent in the arena—mostly drawing faces from photographs—and I want to find out if I can learn the basics so I can become a better artist. On top of that, maybe I’ll unearth a secret talent that will allow me to illustrate my own books.

Because, don’t forget, I occasionally write. Granted, I haven’t written much recently—just a couple of contest entries and some re-writes this summer—but my creativity is just waiting to burst through at any moment. To keep my skill honed, I review children’s books, usually five a month although this month it jumps to ten. I’m not sure why other than the fact that I was anxious to no longer think about the dystopian or nonfiction I was sent.

Besides, I had to get the reviews out of the way to concentrate on my two workshops this week. I need to learn what’s involved in teaching an online course. Athens State University has hired me to teach twenty-five budding teachers on how to connect to their English-as-a-second-language students.

And it’s a good thing it’s online because I won’t have to worry about missing classes when I take a ten-day vacation in September or another week’s vacation in October. And then there are Thanksgiving and Christmas to consider.

A friend asked me recently if I’d like to return to teaching full-time. I thought about it. Really. Who wouldn’t like a steady paycheck coming in for a job they actually like pretty much? On the other hand, who has time to work?

I’m busy.