Sunday, July 1, 2012

Meditations on Time

We live in a bizarre age; people are still very much so beholden to and dictated by segmented schedules, days divided into specific time increments of appointments, meetings, errands, obligations, pleasures. Time remains a cultural mantra, an underlying consuming force to all we do and accomplish and perceive. Yet, in parallel, as we rely on numerous tools and technological advancements that purportedly save our time, reduce the efforts of our labor and energy, we increasingly complain about the lack of time, bemoan how quickly the hours in the day seem to pass.  With the almost unbelievable advances in the information technology industry in recent years, with the development of extraordinary media and social networks, enhancing our ability to communicate and share ideas and knowledge, we can produce so much, in a short period, and yet can also waste away frivolously on vapid distractions.

About a decade or so ago, when we agreed to a time and place to meet with friends or family, we adhered to these preconceived plans, not wanting to appear flaky. Now, perpetually accessible, connected, we can always easily reach out, cancel, re-schedule. We have no excuse for not answering the work email from that client, who always seems to want your attention on a Sunday afternoon or a Friday evening. Our time seems to become less our own, more so a shared entity, inextricable from various devices designed to bring ease and comfort into our lives: computers, in the form of our laptops and desktops, and in the form of minutely and frighteningly powerful cell phones. 

I am approaching my three year anniversary, at my job and living here in my first adult apartment in this strange suburban town where so often I feel so lonely and misplaced. While on the one hand I am proud of certain accomplishments, on the other I am disappointed in the use of my time; where did it all go? What did I truly achieve? In my mind, I re-divide the years, months, days, hours, imagining, fantasizing about what could have been.

I tend to lean towards the glass as empty, approaching the limit of empty; this is something I need and want to work on and change about myself. So, as I sit here, reveling before my air condition window unit, with some delicious iced coffee and a fresh farmer's market pastry, I remember and focus on those wonderful things I have done. Financial solvency. Travel to new countries and continents, independently. Poetry published. Some now comical failed relationships with some interesting, some boring men, which have led to one ongoing serious relationship with an incredibly sweet and intelligent and understanding man. Maintaining friendships with some of the most beautiful and wonderful people I know. Support and love from an incredible sister, an incredible brother. Beginning to build a relationship and falling in love with my niece.

It is very warm; about half an hour spent outside shopping for vegetables, left me dripping in a boiling briny sweat. My head hurts as well, most likely from dehydration. It is hard to move beyond these visceral sensations. My thoughts, at the moment, are rambling, neither profound nor really coherent. But no matter. It is good to reflect, mentally complain, write pseudo-ranting paragraphs. One of my best friends is visiting me this week, and I have two vacation days planned, to commemorate the hard-fought independence of our country. This upcoming week is looking lovely.

(image taken from EHB)

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