Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tick Tock

One year when when my dad went to Japan (which he did yearly as part of his Naval Reserve requirements), he came back with a really fascinating watch for me, all kinds of timers and alarms and stuff. Really advanced for its time and really way too much for the young child I was at the time. And all too quickly, the watch was re-appropriated by my dad for his own use.

Years later, I ended up with a really nice gold Timex analog quartz watch. I'm not exactly sure of its provenance, but I think it was my grandfather's. I think it was a peace offering for the appropriated watch, or maybe it was just the passing on of a legacy heirloom. It was the kind that when something broke, you paid to have it fixed. And over the years, boy did I. I don't know if I had the watch in high school, but I wore it constantly in college and for a number of years in my post-college life.

I eventually came to realize that I was being too constrained by my time and that even then, I was surrounded by clocks. The watch was one more thing. Plus, I had seen the watch in a jewelry store for $400. It was too nice a thing for me to be wearing, considering how I had treated it / what I had already had replaced on it. So when the battery died, I put it in the drawer where it's been ever since.

And recently, I made the decision to stop exceeding the speed limit. That, too, offered me the chance to disconnect from time, disconnect from frantic pace.

And yet... and yet I still find myself constantly wishing for more time. More time with my family. More time exercising. More time doing Bible study. More time at work for fun stuff, or even for the un-fun stuff, more time to get my chores done at home. More time to attach the house projects, the stacks of magazines, the unfinished bookcase, the unclean car, Quicken. More time to exercise. More time to listen to music. More time to just sit and watch the rain. More time for Google Reader and lots of unwatched TED Talks.

And at the same time, I keep telling myself... just keep building the book list, someday it will slow down. Or someday I'll retire. And then I can sit and read books all day long.

And that's not necessarily healthy either, right? Live in the now, right? But that's not so easy. The now is moving faster than I can keep up. So, what now?

It would seem that the best idea, then, is to cut something out. But there's nothing that I'm willing to cut out. I've tried to think it over, but as it is, there's more I want to be doing, not less. So there isn't anything to cut out. So, yeah, that's where I'm left.

Even TV - we record everything and don't watch commercials. And even as I watch, I'm also typing this and I'm exercising. Technically, I suppose I could cut this out. Sometimes writing 750 words a day is a bit of a drag and I'm not sure it's serving any purpose. I'm not necessarily doing anything creative or honing any writing, and I'm certainly not doing anything to clear my head, since I can't help but write for an imagined audience.

In a few weeks, I'm getting an iPhone and Lori will be getting one, too. It's my assumption that it will allow me to be more productive. Not quite sure, though. There are too many times when I want to look something up or visit a website, but all I have is the BlackBerry and so that's a pain worse than death. And I swear, if the iPhone weren't coming soon, I'd be begging to go back to the old one as the new BlackBerry I just got is an awful, awful piece of garbage. It has a well-documented problem with appointment reminders that just makes it unusable, often right when I want it to.

The nice thing is that I won't be carrying two phones anymore. And, while the jury's still out, I might also be able to leave behind my iPod sometimes. Not sure yet. I do know that I've been wanting to read "The Hole in Our Gospel" by Rich Stearns (my boss' boss' boss' boss' boss) for some time now, even had a free copy of the book, but never got the time. And then found a free copy of the audiobook. I've been able to listen to it in the evenings while I'm doing some cleaning. That's been pretty nice.

So I'm hoping instant access to more things with the iPhone will help me use even more of my time. We shall see.
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