When I was a kid--especially, an adolescent--I was very adept at finding things to do when I didn't what to do what I was supposed to do--like homework, like chores around the house. Probably my most frequent strategy: lie. No, I don't have any homework. Or: I already did my homework. Or: I'll mow the lawn after supper. Or: It's not my turn to fold the laundry. (Hint: It was my turn.)
Later, though, a college student, I began to realize this wasn't all that good an idea--avoiding things (grades were a continual reminder). Still, I did it (procrastinate), but gradually I began to, oh, "mature" (I guess) and to do (most of) the work I was supposed to do.
When I began my teaching career (fall, 1966), I was still trailing clouds of (un)glory and occasionally got myself in a bind. I wasn't too (or at all) prepared for class; I didn't get papers back in a timely fashion; I didn't ... I'm getting embarrassed, confessing all these failures.
But when I began taking graduate school courses (1968--and paying for them myself), when I met and married Joyce (1969), when I became a father (July 1972), well, I began to put aside childish things and became more and more "responsible" about all of my professional and domestic tasks. By the time I retired (for the second time) in June 2011, I was a near-fanatic about getting things done for my classes--planning well ahead for what I would need to be doing--and when. (I think some of my students thought I was a tad robotic.)
Since I've been retired, though, I sometimes find myself slipping back into boyhood in more than one way. I sleep later. I become more dilatory. True, I do have some professional commitments (deadlines on book reviews) that I never miss (hell, I was reading a book in the Cleveland Clinic hospital while recovering from prostate cancer surgery!), and I continue to do the jobs around the house that have sort of evolved over the years to become mine. (More about those in a subsequent post.)
But still ... I realize that I'm finding excuses now and then for not doing things that I'm supposed to do. True, most of those things are self-imposed, but still ... Instead of working out, I take a nap. Instead of working on various writing projects I've assigned myself, I take a nap--or I go to the store for some bananas (as I did this morning).
And today--instead of doing the work required to continue my serialization of Frankenstein Sundae (which, supposedly, I'm posting three days a week on this site--M-W-F), I suddenly felt an urgent urge to go the UPS Store to mail something, and when I got home (with time enough still to do it), I decided I needed to bake some scones.
And so I did. Maple-pecan ones. My favorite. (See below.)
I'll write more of Frankenstein Sundae on another day--because, of course, I know I have a endless supply of them, right?
|just out of the oven--11:55 a.m.|