10 March 2006

time without art

Sam spent the day fighting to get the fonts to display correctly in Mail. really.

I spent the day fighting to get my sentences to sound halfway intelligent in my book. it's called rewriting, and it's hard.

Tarn's post of a few days ago on time has a certain resonance for me, as I too have been enjoying the luxury of relying on someone else for my daily expenses, enabling a whole range of activities, almost all of which I do not do. Some of the time it's because these extra activities cost money (yoga classes, traveling, shopping) but much of the time it's because my time is so entirely mine that I feel a bit stingy about giving it out. When your time is your own, "free" time doesn't exist. So it's okay to devote time and energy to two things: working on your career/vocation (in my case writing and publishing) and doing things like networking, part-time teaching gigs, conference-going, and the like in order to set yourself up to one day re-enter the workforce, hopefully in a job that matches your qualifications. or hey, even values them. let's just get crazy now.

so time has become my only currency. perhaps that is what Tarn was trying to say, at least in part. time's value changes when it's yours to parcel out. it's not that you have a ton of it, but it's that it's your responsibility to decide what to do with it. and what I'm experiencing is that I'm really really busy right now. with this rewriting, with the teaching gigs, with conferences and talks and coffees-toward-something-bigger. and I'm so busy that I'm not sure how I ever did a job and all of this. but of course I didn't do that. I let writing slide for a year, or at least until summer. I would spend no time on teaching. I would run around, never work out, eat poorly, and let piles of clothes accumulate on my floor. but back then I had an excuse for letting things slide--the job. now I don't. academics on sabbatical feel this way after a year as well: how did it go by so fast? why didn't I get done what I thought I would? I'm on a sabbatical with no set end-date, and I've managed to fill it up amazingly well. I suppose that's success, on one level. or it's utter failure--failure to value time that is blissfully, gleefully, guilt-free free.

1 comment:

Transient Gadfly said...

I have some abstract comment about, you know, okay, what are you saving your time for, this is your actual life, happening right now; life is working towards Thing X (e.g. rockstar job), it will not suddenly start when you achieve Thing X, thing X will just be replaced by Thing Y. Live in the now, bitch.

Really, though, I only care that you live in the now next week when we're there. Then you can go back to your chaotic existential struggle.