Thursday, September 22, 2016

Coming to Terms Part 3: Where do you find the time?

Years ago, long before my son was born, I had only two things I needed to do daily to live. I had to write and I had to work for money to pay the bills. I had such a life then that I really didn't need to work hard, and I didn't work very hard. I've never worked very hard. I guess I always saw work and bills to be only slightly less bullshit than trying to avoid them outright. I've never had a very high regard for the system and the system demands rent, lights, grocery store visits, etc, and a job in order to maintain all of that. However, in the old days, I worked very few hours at a job to pay relatively low living expenses. Consequently, those who I meet with low bills, no car, and more free time get more of my admiration (and envy) than those with a conventionally lavish lifestyle.

In these old days in which I speak, I spent the better portion of my days writing. I didn't do much else. At the end of a day, or a week, or a month, or a year, I could get a whole lot done. Oftentimes, when asked about it: “Where do you find the time?” I would simply explain that we all have that sort of time. I really felt like all of us had that sort of time. In a way, I was very naive. Yet, if someone persisted and claimed not to have the time, I would ask, do you have a tv? And when the answer was “yes” I would simply say, you have the time.

Now, many years later, I wonder about the time. It's true, I have the same number of hours in a day that I always had. We all do. The Earth is never going to change, not the length of day, anyway. I find myself being very short on time these days. Well, if I dig a little deeper, it's not really the time I'm short on, but the level of energy. In the past, I wrote when I woke up in the morning and I worked all the way until the mid-afternoon. It was sometimes four hours, sometimes eight. I'm dad in the morning now. I work earlier in the afternoon now. So, my free time happens very late at night, and I'm cashed by then. I read sometimes, I scribble in my journal or attempt to write, but more often than not, I just stare into my computer screen.

I realize that life is cyclical. I know that things always change, like the amount of work I must do both in the home and in the workplace to keep my family financially afloat. It's life, and I can accept that. I think all of us, if we think about such things, living life and working and paying bills and whatnot isn't so bad. It isn't. It's what we do to afford living in homes and driving cars and doing what everyone else is doing. Practically speaking, it's okay.

Fundamentally speaking, however, this life, this modern life really sucks. I think we're all burdened with shit, and I mean very smelly shit, that we don't really need. And all of it takes money. To make money is to take time. For me, the opportunity cost of taking my time is time away from writing. Like I said, I have a family, I'm subject to the same lifestyle decisions as everyone else. And as I said, it's okay.

So, knowing I have a very finite amount of time and all I really want to do is write, where is the balance? Well, there really isn't any. I write when I can. I get the same amount of writing hours in a week nowadays that I once got in the first morning of the week. That's a bummer.

I think the quality of my writing suffers because of the sporadic nature of my time. I think the process lacks something too, although I couldn't say what it is. What has remained, most importantly, is how I feel during the act of writing. I can come to terms with the two real issues here, a lack of time, and a suffering product knowing, when the feeling I get while working is just as good as it's ever been. I feel great, a great sense of purpose and accomplishment at this very instant because I have written.

Where this may or may not makes sense to others, is that when you are a creative writer, the hours of creation are very important. I believe that all artists or people endeavoring to pursuit art, any kind of art, it's important to have time, use time and reach the creative center of yourself. If it's fifteen minutes a day, know that someday it may be eight hours. If it's eight hours, enjoy it while it lasts, because someday it may be only fifteen minutes.

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