Saturday, June 26, 2004

Vacation all I ever wanted

This is my first real weekend in quite some time. That's because this has been my first real workweek in quite some time. I don't know if I like this division between work time and free time. After a lifetime of school and independent writing projects, it feels unnatural to me.

When I was in college I used to feel like all time was free time. When I was in college there was a lot of truth to that. I mostly took classes because I liked them; I dropped classes I didn't like. I was interested in what I was reading and writing, and every time I chose to read/write/go out with people/go running/see a play, it felt like I was choosing that just because I wanted to. It felt like a choice. Sure, there was probably some element of self-deception involved. Did I really want to write every paper I had to write, study for every exam I had to study for? I probably did not. But if it was self-deception, it was useful and not unhealthy self-deception. I got something out of pretty much everything I had to do, and because I mostly liked what I had to do it was easy to see it that way.

When I got to grad school it started feeling like all time was work time. When I was in grad school there was a lot of truth to that. I liked some of that work time and didn't like some of it, but either way it felt like work time, like there was less volition somehow than there had been in college. Less volition even though I had pretty much total flexibility in my schedule, even though I got to go to bed and get up in the morning just when I wanted, and after a time, read and write just what I wanted to. I had more freedom but it felt like less freedom. It felt like work time.

But both times, and all the time this past year that I was in writing limbo, I didn't have this division between work time (having to do) and free time (choosing to do). One bled into the other and back again. And now, for the first time, I have work time (normal business hours) and free time (all other hours). What is the normal mode of existence for everyone everywhere is for me something totally new. And if a weekend is like this, I can't imagine what my first real vacation is going to feel like.


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