Ten-second Rant: Slowing Down

Here’s my latest category, which I’m guessing I’ll be using a lot: It’s called Duh.

I’m thinking about why there’s so much to do, and not enough time to do it in. I liked it better when there was more free time—when you did your job, and then you had time for yourself and time for your friends and family. I understand that because I have less time left in this lifetime, the minutes seem to go by faster; the years do not seem go on forever, anymore, the way they did in the old days when I was younger and deadlines fewer and less pressing. But I don’t think relativity of time is it.

People are more anxious all around. They seem more desperate about what they need, and they all need it at least soon, and often now. Maybe that’s it: maybe I am pressuring myself to meet other people’s deadlines in a time frame that makes it impossible for me to have a more restful life (and, in turn, do better work).

Yeah, phew. I think that’s it. Maybe we all need to slow down. (Maybe if one of us starts, another of us will follow, and we can build what used to be a given—time to do nothing—back into our culture.) Maybe we need to make more realistic schedules for ourselves and others, and when we assign jobs (and take them), we could do it with the understanding that time and space are a necessary part of a happy life. This doesn’t mean, though, that we pay and get paid less.

I feel stupid saying this, so I’ll cover that over by saying duh.


Not Waving But Drowning

So I woke up this morning weepy and depressed. I’d been working flat out for a few days, the kind of thing where you only get up from your computer to pee or scavenge for more chocolate (and maybe take a wine break at 7), and when I was done, the deadline having been met, I found myself far afield, having drifted out to sea, far from what makes me happy.

So Scout and I bundled ourselves into the Volvo, and didn’t even mind getting stuck between two giant trucks on the Cross Island—we were on our way out to L.B.’s: to the birds and the trees and the backdoor wedged open by the big white wooden block, and the occasional car going by. To the bright water always off in the distance, and the silence. To the flower petals on the ground, and the clover in the grass.

I’d like to make a pact with myself, and see if you want to do it too, to not let my job wash me away; to always be able to touch, from anywhere I might be swimming, the thing that makes me happy. For me, right now, this means the country; this blog; and practice.

Sorry I drifted off.