0644 – be mindful of time and the little things

Time passes incredibly fast. I was at work earlier, and it was maybe 530pm. Next thing I knew, it was 7pm, then 730. And I left. I got home. Worked out in my home gym for a while. And then it’s 930pm. So I shower and prepare to go to bed. I thought maybe I ought to write a word vomit before I slept. Hopefully I’d have been able to be done by 1030 or 1045, and be asleep by 11pm. But now it’s 1159pm and I’m only just starting to write this.
Clearly, I’m incredibly time-blind. [1] My sense of time passing is completely mistaken, mislaid.
I find myself wandering through the bookshelves of my mind, running my fingers along the various books and essays I’ve read about the nature of time. The book that features most prominently is A Sideways Look At Time by Jay Griffiths. She spoke eloquently, at her own pace, about the ills and perils of man’s obsession with colonising time the same way he’s colonised space – and how we all live in tidy little demarcations – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. 9-5 jobs, 5 workdays a week, 10 days of leave a year. Public holidays that have become commercialised routines. Everything goes according to plan, everything is planned to bits, calendars are filled out in 15 minute intervals. The Earth itself is not precise enough for man, with its imperfect rotation requiring the addition of leap days and seconds every 4 years.
I’m not sure where I stand on this. I think there are a few points on a continuum [2]. At one end, we have a sort of total idleness and indifference to time, which few people ever really get to experience. Getting to that state either requires a sort of renouncement of everyday life – becoming a nomadic wanderer type, a wildling –or it requires (I think) having a substantial amount of resources. Fuck You Money. What that precise $ amount is, isn’t quite so clear. But when you get to that state, then yeah maybe you can really operate entirely on your own internal rhythm.
Internal rhythm. Now that’s a phrase I hadn’t thought about when I started writing this. I was just thinking, what is up with me? Why is time passing me by so quickly? Why is so little getting done, and why do I feel a little bit neurotic about it? I feel like I should be more productive, like I should carve up my time into little blocks and then get very specific things done in those little boxes.
And there’s a part of me that’s very against all of that. Like there’s a part of me with a death wish of some sort, wilfully just refusing to follow orders, to obey, trying to sabotage almost everything I do. Some literature has pointed out that this saboteur is really just fear, trying to maintain stasis, trying to keep things familiar, avoid anything challenging or difficult. And I know in my life that too much stasis is basically death. You can get too comfortable with any one thing, and too much comfort is also basically death. I need to get myself uncomfortable.
And yet at the same time I find myself feeling chronically, deeply, spiritually tired. So I gotta run through my checklist. How is my sleep? It’s okay, I think. How is my exercise? Ah, I haven’t been exercising as much as I should. So I hit the bench press earlier today, and I do feel better in a ‘deep physical way’ – I mean, under my skin, the engine seems to be purring. What about diet? I think I’m eating okay. I don’t think I’m drinking too much coffee. What about hydration? I’m drinking water, but probably not enough. What next? I need to be doing these vomits regularly and get them out of my system, because they’re cathartic. It doesn’t matter if I don’t reach the end-goal with tremendous perfection. I just need to get there, and then I can drop.
But gosh, I do think I need a bigger break. I think I need to get away from home and go somewhere else, maybe by myself. I took a break last year around Christmas-time, and I mostly spent it just lounging around the house for a week and a half. I didn’t get a lot done. A part of me regrets that, feeling like I wasted my time off. A part of me felt like lounging was precisely what I needed. But it’s been barely two months later and I’m already feeling lethargic and listless. I’ve gotten a lot better at dealing with lethargy and listlessness – I can function despite it – but I also think the point is to get to a state where I’m NOT lethargic and listless. Like, that’s just not how life should be.
The wife’s got 3.5 weeks left to go on her course, which involves both of us waking up really early and leaving home together, and neither of us having much energy to do things around the house when we get home. It does make me appreciate the amount of time and energy she spent every day just keeping shit in order – laundry and dishes alone can be massive timesinks. But they can also be time spent watching good videos or listening to good podcasts, so I’m not so sure.
What I do need – what I do remember thinking was – that it’s important to fix the little things. To be mindful, and to make changes to the small things that repeat themselves.
[1] I’ve written about this before I’m sure, but lately I’ve been thinking it’s not so bad if I repeat myself. I’ve clearly developed a more coherent voice. I write with bolder, cleaner strokes now. It’s worth repeating myself if things get clearer, more succinct, more punchy.
[2] And as I write this I wonder about where the metaphor of a continuum comes from, where I inherited that, and what the alternative metaphors might’ve been.


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