It might be time to give myself a slap.
Open-handed, right in the face (though careful of the teeth – dentists are expensive in Italy.)
Because yesterday, I didn’t study.
Zilch, nada, ingenting, hiçbir şey, neanche un cavalo!
I didn’t tune in to SVT’s easy Swedish news broadcast at five-fifteen, as I usually do, to listen to it three times over.
Neither did I read/listen to the simplified online Swedish news website, the one which inspired our own EasyItalianNews.com.
That’s also usually a part of each weekday afternoon.
OK, so I have a colleague in the hospital right now.
Which means I had to teach three hours more than on a usual Thursday.
If she’s reading this – you just relax, dear, get well soon.
Besides the sick-cover, this week there have been various other work issues piling up, and those too have eaten into the time avaialable for my own learning.
That said, yesterday, unlike Tuesday and Wednesday, I didn’t have an online lesson (as a student, I mean) so that should have helped, time-wise.
On the other hand, when I did finally get done with work in the evening, fourteen hours or more after beginning my day, instead of reading something in Swedish or listening to Swedish radio, I picked up a Lee Child book I’m half-way through.
Anyone who has a husband who can read will know what a big time-waster Lee Child books are.
They’re basically an excuse not to do something more useful.
And he writes so many – I could abandon hope of ever learning a language and immerse myself in a world of macho men who always win through in the end.
But, as my wife would say, you were tired, give yourself a break!
So, a slap, or a break?
Which would be most appropriate, from a management point of view?
Perhaps a middle way… A stern talking to, with a warning regarding the consequences of my behaviour.
You’ve come so far!
It would be such a shame to let it all slip away, don’t you think?
Put down that paperback, now, and read the newspaper in Swedish instead.
You’ll enjoy it, once you get started!
Beh, ‘Self-talk’ can help, but it has its limits.
There comes a point when you’ve transgressed so far there feels like little point in stepping back.
For example, once I’ve drunk the first cold beer from the fridge, getting out another seems like just one more small step on the long road to perdition.
It’s almost predestined, so why resist a second can?
To be rapidly followed by a third, and well, hell it’s Friday, a fourth and a fifth.
I know people who are the same with chocolate – one square leads to the next, then to the whole bar.
One solution is to have some kind of rule, so as to avoid the ‘slap or break?’ dilemma.
Certain things you MUST DO, to create and maintain habits which you know will do you good over time.
Listening to EasyItalianNews.com, for example.
If you don’t find time to read/listen, you owe it to yourself to catch up.
Especially since it’s free!
Missing one bulletin could represent a debt to be paid, a debt to your future self.
Missing two, a bigger debt.
Didn’t do it yesterday? So do it today. Pay the debt.
There! Now things are all square.
Other types of learning activity might, on the other hand, in retrospect, have been a step, or steps too far.
So perhaps I WAS being over-ambitious, when I thought I’d have the energy, and time, to read a serious newspaper in a foreign language, each and every evening?
I made a valiant atttempt for a couple of months.
And I learnt a lot!
But hey – now I’m back at work…
I grab myself by the lapels and look at myself, with a serious management face.
You need to shape up!
OK, OK, I promise! I’ll find some time today to catch up on yesterday’s news. And the website, I swear!
OK then. Good. And one more thing, buddy… Asking too much of yourself isn’t helpful, you know? You should give yourself a break now and again. Got it?
Here, instead of a slap, is a gentle reminder…
This week’s ‘Book of the Week’ offer, ‘Divorzio all’italiana’ ends on Sunday night sometime.
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- Comprehension questions to check your understanding
- Italian/English glossary of ‘difficult’ terms for the level
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‘Divorzio all’italiana’ | Free Sample Chapter (.pdf) | ‘Book of the Movie’ series | Italian easy readers