Everyone I know keeps quite busy in early retirement. It might in fact be true that early retirees are even more busy than they were when they were working. Summer, which gloriously exploded this week in MN, is an especially busy time.
Whether it is the season or my age (I turned 55 back in April), I am finding myself too busy to accomplish everything with the time I have. I’m feeling I am at the point where I need to start modifying some of my longer-term goals to fit my schedule.
A few years ago on our fall trip to England & Scotland we stayed in Oxfordshire and visited Shakespeare’s home town of Stratford-On-Avon. At his childhood home – where I learned his father was a glove maker with a pet monkey – I was inspired to make a goal of reading all of his famous plays. I remember reading ‘Twelfth Night’ and ‘Hamlet’ in college and high school, but recalled little about them.
Unfortunately, my goal to read these Great Classics ended up low on my priority list when we got back home. I didn’t even once crack the 600-page, two volume ‘Harvard Classics Shakespeare Library‘ books that I have.
Instead, I recently found a nice book with significantly abridged versions of Shakespeare’s plays. Each one spans about 10-15 pages and includes the basic character definition, main plot points, and colorful Shakespeare phrases. I’ve revisited “Twelfth Night’ and read through ‘Romeo & Juliet’ in just the last two days. Each took about 30 minutes, which perfectly fits our summer reading half hour.
Related: Summer Reading Half Hour
I’m sure my college professor would be appalled at this diminishment of the great works of The Bard, but I left campus more than 30 years ago and never made the time for it. I’m hopeful even in this ‘Reader’s Digest’ form, I’ll be able to enjoy getting to know these much-heralded works and better recognize their influence in other stories.
Who knows, perhaps the abridged works of Dickens will be next!
Anyone else hoping to read the Great Classics in retirement?
Image Credit: Fredric Leighton, The Reconciliation of the Montagues and Capulets (1850)