Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Taking time out of the bottle

"Don’t count every hour in the day, make every hour in the day count.”

I have a Wii that sits on top of one of my shelves. It was a gift from my parents for a holiday of some sort a few years back. I wanted one for one reason and one reason alone- even before it was released, I knew that I was going to want to buy, and actually be able to play, Epic Mickey.

If you don't know what Epic Mickey is, go into your local video game store and inquire. The quick summary: Epic Mickey is a single player game in which you go through different levels that reflect different disney themes and objects, with a paint brush. You basically create the world with the paintbrush to get through the levels. Sprouted throughout each one, you stumble upon disney references from years past. There is a certain nostalgia to the game that called to me even before it was released. 

Last year there were two snow logged games in which I got to play the master peace. I haven't touched it once since. 

On my bookshelf, there are all kinds of well intentioned works. I've got everything from the Idiots Guide to Publishing Children's Stories, to Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers, to Ann Graham Lotz's Magnificent Obsession. And these are just a smaller collection of the physical books that I own, never mind the digital mess that is my library. I have more books that I haven't-but-will-someday-read than I do clothes. Or shoes. Or at this point, even DVDs. It's a disaster. 

In the corner of my room stands a lone guitar, which hasn't been tuned for the better part of three months now. I haven't even named it yet, because I really haven't gotten the time to get to know it the way that I should have. I love the sounds that it makes. I love the few chords that I have learned. I even have a computer program (another well-intentioned gift from my parents) that will teach me how to use it.

Have you guessed what all these things have in common? I don't have the time. 

I have been a working student for seven years. For the last two, I have been a working student who is running a youth program on the side. Furthermore, I have been a working student running a youth program who relies on public transportation- when it came to time, my choices were usually something like eat or sleep. never mind play video games, curl down with a good book, or learn a few new chords. 

But for the first time in my life, I am entering the fall without the attachment of school work. There are no essays to write. No newspaper articles to edit. No chapters to ready. No flash cards to make. This fall, I will actually have the time to enjoy the season as it flows by, to utilize the time that I have. 

This prospect truly intimidates me. 

What do you do to fill time when you are already over stimulated? Do you schedule things into your life as if they were like the classes you once took? Do you leave it to chance? I am not sure what to do with myself and with this gift that I have been given. I suppose I'll learn like everyone else, but the fear of making the wrong choices, of wasting time, lurks in the back of my mind. 

Lately, my mentor and I have been discussing rest. Taking time to breathe, to enjoy things you like without time construction, to be able to relax. It's a concept that I'm struggling to learn, because it's never really been an option before. But I think that there is hope in it's mastering. If I can figure out how to relax, I can stop stressing about how to use my time, and instead of overwhelming myself, I'll have enough time to figure out how to spend it.

Once I figure out how to get time out of the bottle elegantly, instead of pouring out and going everywhere, I think I'll be all set. 

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