I am discombobulated.
Due to this being a 4-day weekend for me, I have gotten my days all mixed up. It is always amusing to me that, obsessed as I am with time, it only takes me 2 or 3 days of being off from work to get my days so mixed up that I don’t even know what day it is. I shudder to think what I would be like if I were off from work for a month or longer. I’d probably forget what century I am. (This is still the 20th century, right?)
When I say I am obsessed with time, perhaps that is overstating it. I wear a wristwatch and I constantly refer to it. I am fascinated with the passage of time and why some patches of time go quickly, and others go like cold molasses. How do we get from one moment to the next? We do nothing and yet somehow time washes by us like we are standing still in a slowly moving river. Things drift by us through no machinations on our part. We stand inert, and the flotsam and jetsam of life and time drift by us, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly, but always doggedly and relentlessly.
I know time (or the telling of it) is a human construct to help us communicate things to one another and to mark off the passage of hours and seasons, but I have always tried to keep fastidious track of it. I always know what hour it is during the day, and very often the minute within a 20-minute window. That may be because I am at work and marking off the minutes until I can leave for the day, like a prisoner marking off the days on his cell wall, anticipating the day of his release. I am also usually on top of what day of the week it is, and, to a lesser extend, what day of the month it is. What year it is gets a little fuzzy in my head sometimes. If someone were to suddenly and without warning ask me what year this is, I am just as likely to say “1987!” as I am the correct year.
However, as aware as I am of the passage of time and my fastidiously noting the hour and minute that I happen to be in, if I have off from work for any length of time, I begin to lose all sense of time. By day four of a seven day vacation, I no longer know what day of the week it is. I usually have only a vague notion of what hour it is by wherever the sun is in the sky. The month? Forget about it! Year? Well, I’ve already confessed my difficulty with years.
It makes me wonder, if I were independently wealthy and did not have to work for a living, would I simply stop noting or caring what hour or day or month it was? Would entire years drift by me without my noticing them or bothering to give them names?
I don’t know, but I’d sure like to find out!