Time Travel

Time moves on whether we use it or not. We can’t speed it up or slow it down, but we are experts at ignoring it.

It's not time, it's a tattoo.

It’s not time, it’s a tattoo.

Reading through Facebook this morning, I had no desire to post anything. Some days Facebook is like a statue and we are pigeons–swoop in, deposit something, and fly off.  I was not connecting to anything.  Cute videos, tragic abandoned dogs and car accidents . . .I forget them as soon as they move off the screen. Really, it was just floating in a half-world of unreal experience, none of it memorable.

I got up early this morning to get work done. But first, check Facebook and emails and Pinterest and stop by Twitter. Because, no kidding, I feel guilty if I don’t check in on my. . . what, exactly? My displaced feeling of connection is what. Bumper-sticker philosophy passing as thoughtfulness. Beautiful photographs, funny cartoons. This is not connection.  This is not friendship. This is also not doing nothing. It is fueling a low-grade irritation about ideas I have already considered.   Still, I can do this because on the internet you can do nothing and rationalize it as social networking, and call it working.

By 7 a.m. when I’d been up for ovr two hours, I has spent the entire time sitting at my desk, staring at my laptop.

Who knows if you are wasting time with the Un-Time clock from randomization.com

Who knows if you are wasting time with the Un-Time clock from randomization.com

I was not relaxing. I was not doing anything, either. I was in some sort of half-awake world of semi-attention, hoping that something would inspire me.

What would really inspire me was rest. It came up like a huge bubble from under a deep pool–if I wanted to rest, I should rest. Stop fooling myself. So I got up, closed the computer, and went back to bed.

I lay on my back, wondering if I should be working. No, I was tired, so I closed my eyes. It felt. . .good. I fell asleep quickly. Slept for two hours. Woke up rested.

When I returned to the computer, I did not check in on Facebook. It ran just fine without me. Instead, I wrote down what I needed to do, set the timer on a reasonable amount of time to accomplish it, and started writing. It worked. Because I was rested.

Lying down is resting. Lying down and opening your iPad is not resting.
I like Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. But it’s not work and it’s not research. It needs to fit into my goofing-off time. So if I don’t have time to goof-off, I will not call posting on Facebook “working,” and spend 45 minutes reading what semi-strangers are doing.

Rest when I’m tired. Work when I need to work. Goof off when i am done working. That feels better.

Quinn McDonald had a good nights sleep. Finally.

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7 thoughts on “Time Travel

  1. As I scrolled down at the speed of light I noticed I was not stopping and I was hardly retaining what I was seeing (can´t call that reading). It felt a bit like when I enter a book shop. So many pages written and I can´t honour them by reading them. Somebody went through so much work. Shouldn´t I be reading everything? No? Uh. What do you mean I don´t have to read/listen to/watch everything? *paula goes to her corner hugging Facebook as a beloved soft toy and wonders if she could chew one corner of her smartphone*

    • I have found that chewing on the corner of your phone shortens its life. It also sends flashes through the fillings in your teeth. I suggest tucking it into a blankie, so you can soothe yourself with it.

  2. Before last May I used to spend hours online trying to promote my Etsy shop with social media. Then, for health reasons, I cut back in order to give myself a sabbatical from the shop. I am still online but now I’m playing more – it’s resting time, in a sense. I’m trying, during this sabbatical, to think about how best to use my online time. I know I’ll have to return to the social media promotion but I need to choose what’s best for me.
    I know that goof off time all too well. And I think I will have to set an actual schedule about when to goof off and when to work.
    At least I’m not like a lot of people who use their laptop or tablet in bed. My bed is for sleeping and nothing else. I have enough sleep problems because of my health issues – I don’t need any others.

    Great post Quinn – I’ve shared it.

  3. Get OUT OF MY HEAD! I’m thinking of upending my day and not going near those sites or my favourite blogs (except QuinnCreative) until evening and my day’s work is done! I misuse too much time . . . in fact I’ll start right now! Well as soon as my coffee has been drunk.

    I have a list too!

  4. Just exactly what I needed to read on this morning. A morning that is cool before we have a record breaking day of heat…coolness in the studio is a gift….and as I do my quick morning watering chores, make breakfast, eat, and quickly look at blogs I love to read, I was able to wish a couple of “true” friends happy birthday on Facebook and get right off. It is a place that has most often no benefit to my day and still I find the things on there so often pull me into reading, listening and responding. With an important project to complete the studio must be my “home” today….and your words, well I am on schedule and happy…..and the resting, I have finally come to a place of listening to the need for a nap some days and always, always I wake up with more refreshment of mind and body than I ever imagined a simple short sleep could provide. This is truly a most wonderful gift of a day. Thanks for your helpful words to push the positive day’s events to the fore. Kristin

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