I retired a year and a half ago, but it didn't stick. Although I never expected to be fully retired quite this early, the speed at which new pursuits have taken over my life has left me a little breathless. I thought I'd have lots of time to write -- to revive my freelancing, work on all those works-in-progress that had become stalled for lack of time and attention -- but many days, I find myself back in the "too much to write, not enough time" boat that was sinking when I worked full-time.
This new version of an old state of affairs sometimes relegates writing to the nooks and crannies of my day. Fortunately, I learned how to use that approach successfully over the last decade, so although it's disappointing, it's not unworkable.
I love settling into a comfy chair and digging into the pages, but on Friday, I felt a little like Goldilocks. The same chairs that were typically unoccupied when I stopped in after class on Tuesdays and Thursdays were occupied by students -- some alone, some in groups and one asleep, stretched out on a sofa on the second floor. There were still chairs available in these groupings, and while I wouldn't have hesitated to sit right down if I'd been at Starbucks, I felt a little creepy doing so as a fifty-two-year old adjunct in a library full of college students. These chairs were too full, so I moved on.
There were chairs available in the lobby, but in addition to the noise factor (minimal though it was in a library), these chairs were placed beside heating vents pumping out warm air. After spending 30 minutes or so traipsing around campus, the last thing this middle-aged woman needed was hot air blowing down her neck. These chairs were too hot, so I moved on.
I finally landed at a study carrel in the quiet zone. Wait. There was a quiet zone? Well, of course there was -- I was in a library! Although I hadn't used a study carrel in more than 30 years, I needed a quiet place to work, and this was what was available, so I took it. Oddly enough, this chair was just right.
I'd like to conclude by saying that I got a pile of work done, but between the time it took to settle into a work space, my upcoming appointment and the fact that my daughter and I ended up in a text discussion (with my phone on silent, of course -- I was in the quiet zone after all), there was more ambiance than work involved in my trip to the library.
But I've discovered a new work space, one that a friend in my writers' group swears by. And I think perhaps it's time I took better advantage of it.