Feeling somewhat like Bilbo Baggins when he screams "time" in The Hobbit. My requirements for studying of Chinese are changing drastically. The importance of time is becoming more and more evident.
Job, family and all that comes with approaching middle-age mean a lack of time in real-terms. If I had been wildly successfully in the earning stakes I might have been able to carve out some free time for my-self but sadly not.
None of this seemed to be a problem during the early stages of learning Chinese as there was a lot of dead-time in which I could learn just by listening. This is still the case to some extent but I find more and more that I need or want to sit down and actually study a little bit too. My favorite situation being some juicy text and accompanying audio.
I also need to talk more and although I am getting some wonderful help from Skype, to fit it in I need to do silly things like get up at 5:30 in the morning. Some of the younger people I encounter seem to be available to chat on Skype for hours each day (a completly alien concept :)).
I need to re-think my strategies somewhat. I have posted and interacted in forums a lot, usually whilst listening to Chinese. Now that time would seem better suited directed to studying.
Not a whinge as such (although I would like more free time :)). I think I see a light at the end of the tunnel. The lower intermediate lessons at Chinespod are more accesible to me now so I can learn from them just by repeated listening. Also at some point I will get more out of just listening to Chinese radio etc.
It does kind of highlight that all of us have to customise our own lesson plans (assuming we are self-learners) to fit our own life-styles. And there is not a day goes by without some sort of Chinese learning going on, even if just within my own head (a vastly under-rated classroom).
This blog is negleted but normal service will be resumed shortly and I feel a podcast coming on (after all it is all in the sound).