I do not know about the rest of you, but with children, family and work, I am having trouble finding the time to maintain my languages. Before having these two babies, had so much free time. I could hang out in coffee shops, bookstores, and libraries. My favorite things to do.
I would conjugate verbs, write sentences and contemplate the meaning of trivial things.
Now, it is all about babies, diapers, baths, dinner, laundry, and a never ending stream of house chose that never get finished.
When could I possible pick up another language, or maintain what I have?
Today I took the little one up to North Seattle. I ran out of lye and need it to make my Artisan soaps.
While pushing the stroller up to the metro, I utilized my time listening to Pimsleur Mastering Chinese. I have Chinese, Russian, Italian, and Korean on my IPOD. When I walk with the baby anywhere, this is my golden opportunity to listen to languages. It is not as much as I want, but hey, beggars can't be choosers.
Sometimes, the best thing you can do is listen to these language learning CD's in your car, on your Ipod, in the bus, subway or walking where ever you need to go.
My theory is this - the time spent listening is cumulative. It adds up slowly. Maybe a lot slower than we would like, but something is better than nothing when it comes to language learning. The key is consistency. You have to be consistent, and squeeze in those special ten or fifteen minutes every day. Just imaging how much listening you would have done in one year. Think of it like a bank account - put in fifteen dollars every day, five days a week.