When my daughter is out of school, I lose track of time. I’m awake, working at night, and nap during the day, getting a couple hours of sleep in between bouts of work on social media and correspondence. Days run into each other.
When I go to bed at 8 a.m., then wake up a few hours later, it is the same day. I do my thing until the morning hours, but it’s now a different day. I go to sleep. Wake up. But it’s the same day. It’s almost like living the film Groundhog Day.
Oh, sure, I have a calendar thingy on my phone and my computer, but without my daughter’s rigid school schedule Monday through Friday, time is fluid and endless. I come. I go. I work. I study. I write. I think. I envision. I dance. I sing. I sleep perchance to dream.
I much prefer this to having my life scheduled per a clock ad infinitum. I could live in a small cottage in the woods and never look at a clock or calendar again. Calendar time is linear. Events are put on a timeline, stretching in one continuous stream from back then, through now, and moving forward into the future — events and times never to be experienced again. Ancient cultures thought of time as cyclical or circular: days and nights, the phases of the moon, the seasons of the year. All the major markers of time came and went and came again. Cycles. Circles. Spirals. Waves. Connections. Infinity. Fluidity.
Soon, my life will return to an existence based on alarms — alarm to wake up, alarm to actually get out of bed, alarm so my daughter makes the bus, alarm for meditation, alarm to exercise, alarm for my daughter’s bus to come home, alarm to make dinner, alarm to go to bed. With more alarms for special times, going to the grocery store, meetings, interviews, deadlines. My time is not mine. My time is my energy slivered up into sections by a litany of linear alarms.
For the next four months, this will be my life again, until my daughter is done with her senior year’s classes in December. Then my time and my life will be my own once again … for the first time in nearly 18 years.
A new cycle will begin.