Where did all my time go?

We all are tasked with many different kinds of work, not all of which we are paid for. Likewise we have many different resources, only one of which is money.

We live in a state of obligation, either self-created or illusory: self-importance demands we act as if we are needed, somewhere, at almost all times. Truly, others demand our time often, often enough that mental closure leads us to believe this is always the case.

With perspective and attention, however, we can unflinchingly see how little we are needed; against this backdrop those obligations we do have become clear, distinct, and joyful. We learn that in between them we are free to let the world bump us around as it will. We have a word for this feeling: we call it “vacation.”

And in those in-between times, almost all of the things that usually bother us cease to; the people around us find us a delight. The feeling is mutual. And over time we seek ways to expand these times. I try to group all my obligations together and fulfill them in one dutiful chunk.

It’s not to shirk, or disconnect, but to soak more thoroughly in that type of time, when we are practically unoffendable, and to solidify the thoughts of its perspective. There is, in responsibility–especially when it is rushed–a special brilliance, but no inspiration. Fulfilling obligations requires thinking more akin to that of physical combat than that of prayer; those of us who seek to be inventive on command must learn to shift our thinking away from such as that. I think brain scans would back me up on this.

Freedom, then, is the key to accomplishment, and fear the only thing that robs us of our time. Negotiating this freedom within the groups we are a part of is scary, because self-importance wasn’t wrong: we do matter to many of those around us largely because of the jobs we perform for them. With calm heads, however, we see that personal relationships that cannot persist without obligation are not very personal at all, and that those who are important to us benefit more from our best selves than our labors.

Because our vocations are many, the impact of most of them will always be unknown to us; utiliarianism though espoused is undone by our limited perspective. You are now perhaps most importantly the car waiting patiently as others turn left in front of you; you are now perhaps most importantly clocking in and clocking out; you are now perhaps most importantly considering nothing over a cup of tea, as no one else can; you are now perhaps most importantly demonstrating careful and respectful ways to free yourself from obligation. Loving ways even.

Or perhaps you are just typing up your conclusions for noone, pointlessly fearing they aren’t already known, tied in a knot over the idea that they will be lost with you.

PS: Updated Feb 7, 2016. You might notice that this daily blog skipped a post last night. Right?