Arthur – you know Arthur – asked:
Now that you’ve had a bit of time to adjust, do you find blogging easier or harder to do now that you’re retired? Anything else stand out as being harder or easier to do now?
It’s a bit of a rollercoaster, actually. The summers have always been tricky because one doesn’t want to be shut off in the office while the family is around.
Fall 2019: it was quite productive, actually. Time to do those pieces that might take a little longer.
March 2020: At the beginning of the pandemic, my wife was teaching school from the dining table. This was really awkward; if I wanted to do anything downstairs, such as washing dishes in the kitchen, or watching TV in the living room, I felt that I was intruding on her classroom. Meanwhile, my daughter was sequestered in her bedroom. So I pretty much HAD to be in the office or the bedroom. This was advantageous for blogging.
When I petitioned for her to use the spare bedroom for her teaching, she initially resisted. But she soon found its advantages, not just teaching but for ZOOM church meetings, and the like. The daughter then would go downstairs and listen to her classes on the living room sofa. Again, I retreat to the office, which was good for blogging.
Blogging on the road is easier when I’m alone, virtually impossible when I’m with others. Back in the day, I’d go down to the “business center” and use one of the public machines. But now, I’m not able to remember to gather up all the things I need (clothes, room key) before leaving in the dark. Typing in the bathroom is not only suboptimal to me, but audible to the others.
Quit the blog?
But, and this might be an age thing, but I really can’t blog at night anymore. The best time on weekdays is from when I get up until my daughter leaves for school, with certain regular interruptions. They would be making sure my daughter’s up, watching 90 seconds of news at 7 a.m., saying goodbye to my wife, feeding the cats, and not hovering (as she puts it) when my daughter leaves.
And when I was having major problems with the technology of the blog, when it was down for 28 hours, and when it was assaulted by malware, it was really difficult. I dithered between quitting blogging and going back to my arcane Blogger blog that I used for the first five years. Unlike you, I never had a technological mentor.
The melancholy means it’s been much harder recently to blog. And NOT blogging makes me MORE melancholy. So my pieces in the queue have shrunk to about three dozen when six months ago, it was about five dozen. Given many are evergreen pieces I’ll only use if I’m desperate, or dead, I’m not all that far ahead.
Time is on my side. Yes, it is.
On non-blogging issues, I’ve found I have the capacity to actually access my bank, the credit union of my wife and me, and my primary credit card, all online. I check them all about twice a week, move money from our savings to checking on the joint account, and pay off the credit card each month. It wasn’t difficult, it just required time.
I know I say this a lot, but it’s no less true for that. I’m too busy to work. No way I do the ZOOM event for the library, for which I got an award if I’m employed.
Of course, this means that some people think I’m readily available. Not really. I did spend eight hours sitting on the front porch with my oldest friend from college. But I had to find a day I wasn’t working on something or going to the doctor or doing the shopping I promised to do, or…