Got Time?

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The thing about holidays is, they bring about a false sense of order. Yes, in the suspension of routines, you are duped into thinking that you deserve the few days off; that work, domestics, and all sundry will cease to make their demands on you. That you have all the time in the world. Such is how the sands flow in the days of my life.

And the long holiday that’s still unfolding finds me in a cafe, reconnecting to plasma, er… the internet. I thought I could get by living without the Web, but who am I kidding, the claustrophobia kicked in full-strength today. I just had to get out of the house and steal a few hours for myself, otherwise I would go crazy.

That’s the other thing about holidays—too much time. Suddenly you find yourself face up on your newly-made bed, staring at the ceiling, awash in time. So far I have done two weeks’ worth of groceries, cooked seafood paella, fried up some chicken lollipops, instigated a clean up, romped with my boys, supervised the laundry, did some grooming, napped 4 hours straight. And I still have lots of time to spare. It makes me nervous, makes me feel as though I should be doing something I’m not.

What’s happened to me? I used to be so ready to embrace the moment. So ready to relax, to let go, to be swept away by the current. I used to be the girl to count on for random out of towns, extended runaway vacations, that last drink before the bar closes. Now even with plenty of time to squander, I run out of things to do to fill up the void. Now as time eddies around me, I find myself stiff and unmoving, perhaps afraid, perhaps at a loss, not knowing how to be. And all around me I keep getting word of people—some near and dear, some fond acquaintances, some recent friends—people with time running out on them.

Maybe it’s different when your time is no longer wholly your own, when claims on it have been staked with a finality that cannot be undone. Now that I am somewhat of a prisoner in my own time, I measure it out by increments, I try to contain it, I try to use it wisely, I try to allot time for all the things I want to happen in my life.

I sure miss those days when everything seemed to flow more randomly, when events just happened to me even without my doing anything to cause or control them. I miss those days when there was no routine to speak of, when you just went wherever it is that the day wanted you to go, when everything else was just killing time.


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