1 EAGLETON NOTES: Reality!

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Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Reality!

In the supermarket recently I met someone whom I know. In fact in Stornoway it is impossible not to meet someone one knows but that's another matter. She knows me well enough to know that I have been spending a lot of time recently working at, or ferrying people to and from,  the house my son, Gaz, is building 15 miles away from where I live. Add to that the fact that I've been away in Glasgow and am also having work done at my own house and have a number of other things happening at the moment and my time has been pretty well occupied.

"Well, it will fill in the long winter days for you and they won't drag."

Now here's the thing. Never in my life since I was a child can I ever recall time 'dragging'. In fact I've never had enough time in my life to achieve all that I want to achieve. The fact that I always have too many things on the go at any one time and am not the fastest thinker on the planet when it comes to writing and so on probably contributes to what appears to be a lack of time.

So far I have used 'I' ten times but the thing is it's not really about 'I', it's about lifestyle and modern life and, so far as I can see with many friends it is a shared situation. 

After all what is 'real life'? Those of us who are retired fill our lives in many and varied ways. Some fellow bloggers demonstrate that: YP walks miles, takes photos and blogs; Adrian walks miles, crawls around in murky places and takes photos of landscapes and bugs and fungi and anything else that takes his fancy and then spends hours working out how to find new ways to play with his photographs; Frances writes, campaigns and falls off her horse. I could go on and I realise that many of the blogs I follow are not written by 'retirees' and I know that those I have mentioned have lots of life outwith the bits that I've mentioned.

The last few months have made me wonder, though, what actually defines the reality of having a busy life in retirement. I know people who are members of societies; people who campaign; people who work for charitable causes; people who spend much time looking after grandchildren.

I sometimes feel ashamed that I do none of those things and yet I still feel that I have a 'real' life. 

Anyway as a result of my temporary journey into the real life of 'working' my 'other real life' in Blogland is getting neglected. Hopefully that situation will soon be remedied and, as Arnie said "I'll be back.".

29 comments:

  1. Well I'm not retired but blogging is taking a back street at the moment - but hopefully i'll be back too :)
    Hope the house is going ok

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    1. Hi Fiona. Don't you just love the spillchucker? The house is progressing thanks.

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  2. The cliché is that life is a university and life is a one damn thing after another...The latter may refer to history. Can't recall.
    I only have to look about here and know I am so many jobs behind. New used gearbox for a combine to be rebuilt. Ditto transfer box on a tractor. Seemed a good idea to volunteer my services in August but it's cold and wet now. Procrastination is an art form and should be rewarded as such..........I could put Dr in front of my name.
    Good to see you back.

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    1. Well Adrian at least you have your priorities right: walks and photography first.

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  3. Excuse my ignorence - Arnie who?? (University of Life assignment: When nothing better to do, ask trivial questions.)

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    1. Arnold. As in Schwarzenegger. As in Terminator, where (I think it was in the first film) he said "I'll be back" with his Austrian accent.
      (Trust me to know such trivia - years of pub quiz practice!)

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    2. Ah. Thanks Meike. I never saw those films. :)

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    3. You've not really missed out on anything, Monica :-)

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    4. It's funny Monica and Meike that I knew it was a Schwarzenegger quote but I've never seen any of the films either.

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  4. Welcome back, Graham. Apropos retirement, the statement that makes me most furious/irritated, and that's become a cliche is "I don't know how I ever had time to go to work" - ie "look at busy, busy me!" How smug. And I don't fall off my horse all the time....

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    1. Frances I wasn't really sure whether I could really say that you are retired because I'm not sure that, as a writer, you ever will be. I think you are being a bit hard on people who say that they don't know how the ever had time to go to work. I doubt many people are being smug (even if it sounds like that to you) but are just being truthful about their new lives. When I retired 10 years ago a whole new world (New Zealand, croquet and so much more) opened up and I count myself very very fortunate but it never occurred to me that all the blogging about my good fortune was smugness. I hope people don't generally think that. If they do, well so be it. I wish that they had had the opportunity to sound equally smug. As for you falling off your horses you have to admit that, with your back-breaking record, you do have it down to an art form. I see that I have missed a lot of your posts. I shall be back....and catch up.

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    2. Graham, maybe I should rephrase that. What I object to is the cliche, rather than the sentiment. Plus, it makes me feel guilty as I waste a lot of time; time I can never have back....

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    3. Frances I waste a huge amount of time by my, and doubtless other people's, criteria. I spend a lot of time having coffee or lunch with friends as an example but, for me, that is an essential part of my social life: it's dolce fa niente, or my interpretation of it anyway.

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  5. I've missed you but it's good that you can also be otherwise busy. Sometimes I get obsessed with the blog and that's not good. As you say there is other real life.

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    1. Thanks Red. I sometimes think that an obsession can be a very good and rewarding thing: certainly when it comes to things like blogging or photography or croquet or.....the list is endless.

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  6. Nope, time never drags here either...it goes way too fast for my liking and seems to get faster each year. I don't work - not by choice by dictated to by pain - but I often feel now the time goes even faster even if I do feel like sometimes I achieve much less than I used to when I worked, studied and was raising two boys as well as looking after the household all at the same time!

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    1. Serenata I doubt that many of us ever achieve as much when we get older for all sorts of reasons but it's often how we regard achievement. Working, studying, raising children and looking after the household is what we think of as achievement (as, indeed. It is) but so is the fact that after all that one has earned the right to sit and read or listen to music or watch the television if one so desires. The Italians have dolce fa niente. I sometimes think they have the right approach.

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  7. Retirement for me is still roughly two decades away (depending on how things are going to develop in this country), but like you, I have never had time "dragging" and can not imagine it will begin to drag once I end my official working life. There is always plenty to do, see, read, write, hear and eat; people to meet, places to go to, stuff to deal with.
    By the way, I have long stopped talking of "real life" v. what people consider as "unreal" (?) or virtual. Instead, I discern between the online and offline parts of my life. Usually, they are pretty much in balance, but sometimes the online bit has to take a back seat for a while. Never the other way round.

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    1. Meike you do not seem to me like a person who would ever allow time to drag. As far as Blogland taking a back seat occasionally I think it's often because it can whereas our other 'real life' can't.

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  8. I never find that time drags. I wish it would! It goes by far too quickly! Even when I have nothing to do I'm doing something...even if it's just breathing (probably the most important thing to be doing)!

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    1. Lee you always have an apt or amusing (or both) approach to things.

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  9. A short while back I went through a period of about 2 weeks when I seemed to be doing nothing, and it really worried me; I even wrote about it on my blog. Luckily that phase soon passed, and I'm back to 'busy' again, which suits me fine.

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    1. Cro I think that for many of us being busy is a real need. I hesitate to use the term 'Protestant work ethic' but I suspect that for some of us that attribute (by any other name) is ingrained.

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  10. Phew! That's a relief Graham. It has been a long while since you last blogged and I was beginning to think that The Blue Men had got you!

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    1. I assume, YP, that you don't mean the travelling entertainment company. Come to think of it .......

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  11. Great to see your posts!
    I've been trying to post regularly again since I "escaped" from a 3 week stay in the Chronic Pain Unit of one of our private hospitals. I have only been out photographing once in the last 4-5 months, so I am looking forward to getting back into it now all my surgeries and hospital stays are done. :)

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    1. Gosh, Liz, it doesn't seem that long since I last read your blog. I'm sorry to hear that you've been in hospital again. I do hope that they had some success.

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  12. No time dragging here either...my life is filled to capacity with lots of things to do, especially at this time of the year.
    I have quite a few blog posts started but not much time to get them up live as yet.
    Good to see you back.

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    1. Virginia I just can't imagine time dragging for you at all.

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