I had quite a bit to do this morning, so of course I’ve spent most of it faffing about. I did a bit of casual tidying in the drawing room, which consisted simply of chucking out a build-up of several days’ papers. Naturally, ten minutes later the Sage came in asking for yesterday’s paper. I directed him towards the bin. Fortunately, I’d been too lazy to go out to the green wheelie bin, so it was still in the kitchen bin. One of the four kitchen bins, that is.
Next, I’ll have to go shopping for food, since all I have is unacceptable meat. This is, of course, a Good Thing as it’ll get me on my bike. This morning, unsure as to whether the lifts in my shoes are quite right, I stood with my back to the Sage, first with my weight equally on both feet, then slightly to my left, then to the right and asked him when my spine was straightest. He had little notion but suggested the right. I did the same with Ro, who also didn’t know but said the same. I took out one millimetre strip and tried again. They both became uncertain. I wasn’t though, it was right. I’d known it wasn’t, but by so little that I couldn’t even tell whether to go up or down. So now I know, I’ve lost 8mm-worth of right leg length – which is the 0.3″ that the physiotherapist had originally measured with the improvised ‘stand on appointment book and telephone directory’ method.
Anyway, shopping. Would you consider that work or play? The ever fine and splendid Diamond Geezer divides his life into Work, Play, Rest or Travel, and he counts Play as anything that doesn’t come into the other categories. He points out that, as a single childless man, he doesn’t have obligations, and I agree with him that that’s what makes the difference. After all, when shopping for food I buy things I’m not going to eat, I cook meals I probably wouldn’t bother to for myself, I’m the only one who cleans the bath and I tidy up after other people, so I think of all those as part of my job. I don’t have a paid job – that is, I do in the sense that I’m the Sage’s business partner, but I don’t receive a pay slip and my income from it is a line on my tax return – so to me, housework, gardening, shopping, voluntary activities, all count as more-or-less work. On the other hand, I enjoy a lot of it, as I do working on our business with the Sage. I don’t think I could possibly separate my life into categories, however general, without making notes as I go along.
Though come to that, how many of us can? A lot of people blog from work (not DG of course) or at least read blogs or surf the net. I do myself; when I’ve spent an hour typing I relax (and reward myself) by reading the paper, a book, or online. If I were in an office where this was permitted, could I still call it work as it’s in office hours? I don’t need to make this distinction of course, because if I waste time it’s my own, I’m not being paid for it.
So there’s the difference and the similarity between DG and me. He is happily unencumbered by family, so once he’s finished work his time is his own. Whether he buys his food and other necessities, cleans the loo, goes to the pub, reads or does anything else, he does it, at any given moment, by choice, so he counts it as Play. I am happily encumbered by family and don’t have an employer so, whereas I have various obligations and a pretty full diary, I can juggle my days pretty well as I wish. However, since much of what I do in those days does involve obligations, willingly taken on for no pay, I call them Work.
I think I’m tailing away without a proper conclusion here. I should be one of those fine bloggers who works out what they’re going to say in advance, and does drafts and all that. Instead, I waffle on and then have the cheek to say I’m being spontaneous. Still, Dave says that no one reads blogs on a Saturday, so maybe I’ll get away with it.