Posts Tagged ‘guilt’

I always think that every free hour should be filled.  Filled with meaningful, productive work, _not_ puttering.

My cousin Little Larry and I once discussed how our uncles and grandpa didn’t understand what we were doing in the city, because they couldn’t understand what we did.  ie, what we _made_.  We didn’t produce anything.  Little Larry was working in computers, and I was an English major.  It got slightly better for me when I became a teacher, because everyone (supposes she does) knows what a teacher does.  But this American practicalism of needing to be _producing_ haunts me.

On Mondays, I’m due at work at ten o’clock in the morning.  Class at two o’clock, free at four o’clock.  In my mind and calendar, I should be up early to do some reading, and should go straight from class to the library, to type a paper three days ahead of time, to get an advanced start on reading or research, or to work on translation at the very least.

Often, though, I just don’t _want_ to.  I resist.  I want to take my shoes off, and sit on my comfy couch.  I want to wait for the bus, and ride to a bookstore, or look at fancy cheeses in one of the markets I never shop in.  

I don’t _think_ I’m a slacker.  That is, I get excellent marks, I run a variety of projects, I’m founding a new academic journal…  Intellectually, I know these things. But the guilt that comes from looking at novels and cheese.    It’s not as if my slovenly nature has caused failure in my life, in which case a harsh self-voice might be rational.

It’s fall!  I want to photograph apples and look at the cheese!  And search new recipes for figs stuffed with mozzarella wrapped in prosciutto, and read at my own pace.  Oh, self-voice–how old will I have to be for you to grow silver and finally patient?


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