Sunday, December 04, 2005

Beat the Clock

This thing all things devours:
Birds, beasts, trees, flowers;
Gnaws iron, bites steel;
Grinds hard stones to meal;
Slays king, ruins town,
And beats high mountain down.
J.R.R. Tolkien

One of the most important things that my father said to me is to not waste time. He said that between time and money it is better to waste money. You could always earn the money back; once time is gone you can’t get it back. He was always on me about playing video games or working on something that in his mind would never make any money…like writing.

On a daily basis I use a schedule to keep track of my time and task management. Because my job is time and task oriented it is imperative that I have a solid handle on my day.

Between work, school and family every second counts. Some time I have days that are just non-stop from 7am to 2am. Many days I get only a couple of hours of sleep.

I tell myself that something, someday will eventual come of all this nose to the grindstone bull$#!t. Until then I just continue to buzz on like a hummingbird wishing that I was more like a starfish.

There are moments that I feel like the need for total time efficiency is a myth, that I shouldn’t have to plan when I am going to use the bathroom and that there is something to be said for decompression. To have the ability to relax and just do nothing.

Sometimes even our vacations seem manic. That we have every minute of that day planned out driving to see one family member then drive on to the next, then on to an amusement park. Sometimes I think that I just don’t know how to have fun, that maybe my father got the best of me and sent me on this path of self-implosion. Now that I can do what I want I can't. That little voice inside of me tells me to keep moving and to do something with my life. Another irony on top of all this is that I can’t play video games even if I wanted to. I tried and got nauseous on a first person player type game.

There was one vacation where we rented a cabin in the woods. We did absolutely nothing and it was great. We had a fire in the fireplace and we played board games. At night I would go out on the patio and watch the Milky Way drift overhead in the night sky as the wind blew through the pines. One morning Aimee and I sat on the porch in our raingear and watched a storm as it passed overhead. As the rain hit the roof I could hear Aimee’s breathing change as she fell asleep. It was a perfect moment. I was doing nothing and was the better for it. When I got back to work people said that I was a changed man. I need to do that again

For as important as it is to organize and control your time, it is as important to not control it, is equally important to do nothing, to decompress psychologically, to have a quite moment to rest and relax: Because one’s sanity is a terrible thing to waste.

1 comment:

OKDad said...

I have fond memories of sitting at my cubicle, walking some customer on the phone through trashing their tcp/ip prefs, and looking over at you at the supervisor's cube with your head down, writing in your leather bound journal.

If your blog has replaced that journal, all the better, cuz now the world gets to share in your written musings.

Taking time is essential for creative people to be creative.