Too much to handle in October?

Have I set myself up for failure in October, by taking on too many things?


The reason for that is that October is my quietest month at work. The students have come back, my colleagues are very busy, so no one has time for my training courses and webinars. Although I am preparing some behind-the-scenes improvements, it is not as busy as the summer period, when I had no holiday at all. On the personal front as well, things start falling into place after the back to school frenzy. So the plan was to take some days off, but just stay home, rest, tidy up my study, focus on reading and writing.

The reality is…

I’ll be visiting my parents in Romania toward the end of the month (apparently to discuss funeral arrangements and elder care issues, so that will be fun!), plus it’s an opportunity to get some of the boys’ paperwork done so they can get Romanian passports. I also have additional paperwork to prepare and check, as right after we return from Romania, I will be appearing in court for financial settlement in this never-ending divorce case. [For all the wimps who shout ‘Get Brexit Done!’ and cannot handle 3.5 years of Brexit negotiations, they should try 4-5 years of divorce negotiations!] I’ll also be helping out a friend by looking after her children while she is away on a business trip, so cooking for six instead of three and four different schools to handle instead of just two. The last of the admin type issues I’m tackling this month involves something more joyful: it’s still secret and very early stages, but let me just say it might involve a translation of books from Romanian type project.

Joyful though my cultural and social events are, I seem to have agreed to an awful lot of them this month: from the Kenneth Branagh Awards at the Windsor Fringe Festival, to films, plays, opera, taking my son to Duke of Edinburgh Awards-related events, quiz night at my son’s school, the very last university open day (I hope)… as well as trying to go to the gym regularly.

Last but not least, my cup of joyful reading is in danger of running over too. Switzerland in October is a-go, I’ve already read the first (disappointingly un-Swiss) book by Pascale Kramer and have now embarked on Ramuz. Then there is the 1930 Book Club, for which I am very tempted to re-read Camil Petrescu’s Last Night of Love, First Night of War, a Romanian classic. I might feel differently about him and the book now, after reading how he behaved to Mihail Sebastian in the late 1930s. October is also the Orenda month, and I cannot go past it without picking up at least one (or two) of their most recent books! I am also continuing to read the ‘one entry a day’ readalong for Uwe Johnson’s Anniversaries on the Mookse and Gripes site and am trying to stay clear of the temptation to reread Proust in preparation for Backlisted Pod’s Christmas special. The #EU27Project needs to finally conclude at some point. Plus, that pesky library keeps pestering me with some China Mieville, Iain Banks and Nicola Barker books that I also want to read…

What I absolutely must do, even if it comes at the expense of anything else on the above list, is edit my poems and start putting them together for a chapbook. The need for artistic ‘selfishness’ has become obvious, as this article on the dangers of kindness points out.

Why can’t I learn to relax like Zoë (pronounced Zo-eh, with trema, as my boys keep pointing out, rather than Zoey)?

14 thoughts on “Too much to handle in October?”

  1. I’m exhausted just reading about all these commitments and plans. At least the theatre trip will be enjoyable,, an antidote to all the dark tasks around funeral planning and divorce,

    1. Yes, I got exhausted merely listing them, and my diary looks a real mess. As for the theatre trips and films, I always grumble beforehand that I’m too tired and I’ve overbooked myself, but I’m always glad I went there in the end.

  2. Goodness, that *is* a busy month and I hope the difficult bits end up being more than balanced out by the good. Also looking forward to seeing what you read for 1930 – you usually manage to bring something interesting to the table! 😀

    1. I don’t think there will be many who have read Camil Petrescu – I don’t even know if his work has been translated into English. But first I have to actually start rereading the darn thing, and this week is far too busy…

  3. You do have a lot going on this month, Marina Sofia! Even though some of it sounds great – even quite lovely – it also sounds as though there’s a lot of difficult, time-consuming, draining work to do, too. And, no, I think I’ll pass on 4-5 years of divorce details….

  4. Cats always get it right.
    My head span as I read all the planned events/commitments.
    4-5 years on a divorce…. it’s like one of those celebrity divorces.

    1. Ha ha ha, except with far less money at stake (a considerable sum for me, especially the security of staying in the house for the time being, but nothing to write home about)!

  5. I’m exhausted just reading your list for this month.
    Still in awe (yes, you can read this comment to your sons too)
    Looking forward to hearing about your translation project and all of the events you want to participate to.

    Good luck with the divorce process.

    PS : and to think that November is German Lit month and Australian Reading month…

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