At the moment, I am finding myself with a lot of ‘free time.’ You know, that time when you’re not working and at home. I don’t know why they call it free time, because it’s not free. I’m working on laundry, keeping the three-dog-pack in line with a Shih Tzu, a pit bull, and a Chihuahua all trying to get along, plus one child who’s not old enough for school, one in elementary school, and one in middle school.
Between getting them to school, picking them up, taking care of groceries, other stuff… what free time do I have? I wonder what others think (like my dad) who constantly wonders why the house isn’t as clean as his (he’s retired and Mom is too, so they just clean, go out, and think that because their house is clean, mine should be too) and if I’m wasting time with yoga and the occasional blog. Sometimes, I wonder, too.
Then I point out that I did my floors myself (Friends helped, but it was done on our own time and with no cash exchanged) and that most of the renovations are done on my own, without help from a professional. I’m no handyman, but I don’t suck at this stuff, so its not bad.
But one thing that I miss about doing these things is to see the progress as I work, watching it take shape moment by moment. Its like working with a pet – animals don’t plan for two days later, no scheming and plotting. They take life one moment at a time. Just like putting one nail in at a time, one board up at a time… you have to take your time and do each step with the focus it requires.
I think that the ‘real world’ as we think of it did a real disservice when it divided time into discrete moments, seconds, hours and days. A moment has been conflated with a second, and the time that would be spent doing something mindfully has been parsed into how many ticks from an artificial meter it takes to ‘get through’ something. Get through something… who’s bright idea was it that if we rush through what we do, maybe we can do a hundred half-ass things instead of ten or fifteen things done well. Since when did Time become our Master? Maybe instead of worshipping money, or power, we have wound up worshipping the clock. The clock dictates when we get up, when we eat, when we show up for work and go home…
This is why I have given up wearing a watch.
So, in the spirit of things, I would ask you to try living without your watch. Use your phone, something you can put away Just check, and put it away. Until recently, pocketwatches were the style. I think it was better that way. Today’s obsession with time is just unhealthy. The seconds are just markers – there is no inherent value in them. The value is in the moment – the sunrise you got to see on your way to work – the first blush of night when the sky is that perfect shade of midnight blue with the moon and one star out…
A second is not a moment. A moment is timeless. For just an instant. Or forever.