Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Tempus fugit and tempus repit

by AB Plum

What day is today?

A friend recently wrote me she's thinking the above question is a good book title considering our current shelter-in-place practices.

I'll admit, it's the first question I ask myself every morning while still in bed.

Actually, as soon as I wake up, I turn the question into a statement: 
Today is Tuesday, April 14, 2020.

Years ago, many doctors took the ability to accurately state current daily information as a good sign of brain health. So … I like to hit all the germane calendar considerations:

·        DOW
·        month
·        date
year

TOD doesn't bother me so much. I'm sheltering in place and don't need to go anywhere or do anything on an arbitrary timeline. A daily shaft of sunshine through the blinds helps orient me to the hour within thirty or forty minutes.

Back in my school days, child-rearing days, corporate-work days, thirty or forty minutes made a huge difference in managing my day.

Or so I thought. 

Never arriving late carried a certain … virtuousness. Arriving early put me on the path for sainthood.

Like most humans driven by the minutes flying by, I expected the same obsession about time from friends, family, and co-workers because I definitely believed in cramming 48 hours of activities into a day. (I was adept at multi-tasking. Sleep was overrated.)

Or so I thought.

Writing full time changed my thoughts about time. Freed me up. Allowed me to get lost in the timeless joy of creating stories.

Productivity wasn't the goal. I felt just as satisfied producing one page a day as turning out fifteen. Writing at all hours of the day and night opened up new A-HAs and fun challenges.

Balance soon became a problem. I didn't live in a yurt in Outer Mongolia. My network of friends and family mattered. They wanted to know about this new adventure/career/paradigm shift. And though I never worried about burnout, I did worry about sitting in the attic, hunched over my vellum in the wee hours, with bats flying in the belfry while I tried to recall:

·         DOW
·        month
·        date
·        year 
  
My calendar lies in my closed desk drawer. No need to review the week every Sunday evening and then in the morning on each day of the week. I still paste Post-Its on my computer as reminders, but I've cut way back on the number of those visual memory-aids.
 
What day is today?

It's a new day. A day when the number of coronavirus cases are still rising. But a day when I can go outside for a walk. A day when I realize how little I need and how much I have.

“I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo.
"So do I," said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
― 
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring  

**** AB Plum lives and writes in Silicon Valley, setting for her latest mystery series, featuring Ryn Davis, a character who never sleeps.


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