I never have enough time. And I’m always craving more time. Days flick by like I’m an accelerating time traveler.
Every year at Christmas I take off two weeks. I always have big ambitions for my windfall of free time, but I never get done all the things I plan. This year is no exception. I have two days of freedom left and I’m depressed that I won’t have more. I never have enough time, and I’m so envious of all my friends who have retired. But those friends tell me that they’re as busy as ever. I guess we never get enough time, even when we have all our time free.
And it’s not like I’m doing anything very important. I go to bed at night regretting the friends I didn’t see, the albums I didn’t play, the television shows I didn’t watch, the books I didn’t read, the dirt I didn’t clean, the clutter I didn’t organize, the thoughts I didn’t think, the ideas I didn’t write about, the characters I didn’t develop, the photographs I didn’t take, the programs I didn’t write, and so on. And that doesn’t even count the big ambitious goals I’ll never do like learn how to play the guitar, build a robot or become a chess player. The list goes on and on.
My days start the same way every day, and my nights end the same way every night. These morning and evening routines remind me just how much my life is like a clock, or how much our lives are based on rhythms.
I get up and let Nicky the cat out of the bedroom, petting him while he meows loudly at me for locking him in for the night. He yells at me every morning. I pick up his wet food bowl and follow him to the main bathroom where I get him fresh water for his daytime water bowl. I take the wet food bowl to the kitchen and put it in the sink to rinse out, and then put on a finger cot and squeeze out .5 ml of medicine and go rub it in Nicky’s ear while he’s drinking his water. I set my watch timer for 25 minutes and go check email. Nicky comes in and sits in his chair next my desk chair and I pet him while I read emails. When the alarm goes off I go back in the kitchen and fix Nicky one quarter can of Fancy Feast. I then get a syringe and fill it with .5 cc of lactulose. I pick Nicky up and put him on the counter and calm him down with some petting and friendly chatting before forcing his mouth open and squirting the medicine onto the side of his mouth. His reward is the bowl of wet food.
Now I go back to the bedroom take off my clothes, start the shower, weigh myself and touch my toes 15 times. I shower, dry off, put on my underwear. I go back into the kitchen and repeat the procedure with the lactulose but this time reward Nicky with one teaspoon of Yoplait original yogurt. Then I go to my exercise room, put on my socks and do 15 minutes of physical therapy exercises for my back. After that I put on my pants and shoes and do 130 reps of rowing and 30 arms pulls on the Bowflex to further strengthen my lower back. Finally I eat my breakfast.
With all that done I can start my day. What I do each day varies, but it’s surprisingly routine.
At night, around 10 pm I do Nicky’s medicine again, the third round of the day, in three parts spaced 25 minutes apart. I usually watch TV while waiting between doses. Finally, I lock Nicky in the bedroom, with his bowl of wet food, some extra crunchies, his heating pad and some new water in his nighttime bowl. I then go to my office where I sleep in a chair because of my back. If I didn’t lock Nick in the bedroom he’d walk on me all night long. I undress and put on sweat pants for PJs, and put Restasis in my eyes. I then go put on the alarm, turn off the lights and go to bed in my La-Z-Boy. The last thing I do is think about all the things I didn’t get done during the day and think about all the things I want to do the next day.
Nicky’s getting old and I have no plans for another pet. I’ll have to alter my routine, but I guess I get a few more minutes of time for each day.
In about a year I hope to retire. That will get me a lot more time, but it will never be enough. And then one day I’ll run out of time completely.
Maybe it’s time to think about the things I really want to do. Maybe now is the time to prioritize my activities and time.
Is that even possible?
The year 2012 is almost over. I wonder if there’s anything I really meant to do before it finishes? How did it get to be 2012? I remember so clearly 50 years ago thinking 1992 was the far future, and 2012 was unthinkable almost.
Time, time, time…
Does time really exist? Is it a quantity we can bank or squander?
I love my life and what I do. One of the things I like to do is bitch about not having enough time. Bitch, bitch, bitch, that’s how I am about time.
Doesn’t everyone? Does anyone ever have enough time?
So it goes.
JWH – 12/30/12