No conception of time

I’m always going to bed way too late, like I try to commit myself to being asleep by midnight, but it never happens. I don’t know why, but whenever I try to get myself to abide by a schedule, time has a way of skipping past my consciousness in twenty-minute chunks at a time. So I’ll be on the computer, it’s eleven forty-five, I think, OK, fifteen more minutes and then I’ll go to sleep. And then it’s past two in the morning.

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That’s OK, I’ll tell myself, as long as I get up early, I’ll make up for the lost time. But my alarm goes off and my body gets out of bed and walks across the room to shut it off, all without even disturbing me from my sleep. And then it’s ten o’clock. Which, yeah ten is kind of late to sleep in, but I work at night, and so it’s not totally unreasonable. And besides, I still have five or six hours before I have to head back to the restaurant, I should be able to make constructive use of my time.

And then it’s noon, and I’m still in my pajamas. And actually starting the day, it shouldn’t be this hard. But there are so many little steps that I need to complete to get past this late morning limbo that I’m stuck in. I need to brush my teeth, go to the bathroom, get dressed, make the coffee, take my dog for a walk, come back in, eat breakfast, and then brush my teeth and take a shower.

But I’ve been thinking about it too much, how I’m going to get started right away, how if I can ust concentrate on completing each mini task as efficiently and quickly as possible, I shouldn’t really have to spend more than half an hour, tops. But now it’s getting close to one-thirty, and so the idea of breakfast is slowly starting to merge into where lunch should be. I’m figuring that I’m probably only going to have enough time for one meal, something closer to three, I’ll make myself a big sandwich or I’ll buy some pizza and I can just eat my cereal as a dessert.

It’s too much thinking, I can’t believe I’ve already spent this much time not doing anything, two o’clock already and I’m still in my pajamas. Wasn’t I supposed to get some writing done? Didn’t I have plans to go for a run, maybe get to the gym? Nothing’s going to fit into my schedule anymore. And I’ve got to be real here, I don’t have a schedule, I don’t have anything, not even a basic conception of how long a minute lasts, ten minutes, half an hour.

Shit, I’ve really got to get going, at this point I’m going to be late for work. It’s OK, I’ll just drink coffee when I get to the restaurant. Hopefully I’ll have enough time to grab a stale bagel at the coffee shop next door. What about my writing? Well maybe I’ll get some done when I get home from work. That’s what I’ll tell myself, even though I know it’s never going to happen.

Or, I wish that I could tell myself that it’s never going to happen. If I were sure that there was no chance of me coming home and starting my productivity at close to midnight, I’d put it out of my head, I wouldn’t entertain the possibility that it could happen. But once out of every thirty or forty times, I actually will come home and start working. I’ll get this insane focus to just sit down and crank out some writing. And it’s not forced and I’m not compulsively checking the Internet every ten seconds.

I’ll plow through three, five, ten pages of writing, this is crazy, I can’t even get ten pages of writing out if I have a whole day off, something that I’ll dedicate strictly to productivity. And I’ll be so into it that I’ll start to fool myself, like yeah, I’m doing it right now, there’s no reason why I won’t be able to get this done tomorrow also.

And so I’ll wake up late the next day, but it won’t matter, because I’ll have gotten done so much work the night before. And I just loaf around all day before going to work but, whatever, I’ll just do that nighttime thing that I did last night. But I’m sitting at my computer and it’s happening. And then it’s three in the morning, I give up, I think OK, I’ll just get up early in the morning and make up for all of this time wasted. But why can’t I ever hear my alarm clock going off? And what am I doing all day when I should be up and going? Why does so much of my life feel like I have no control over anything, not big-picture stuff, not even minute-by-minute decisions? It’s like I’m sitting on top of a giant cork that’s exploding from a huge bottle of Champagne or … no, that’s ridiculous imagery, I’m trying way too hard, it’s like I’m on a really long waterslide, lots of twists and turns, I’m constantly feeling my body lift off the tube, and then I’m pressed up against the side, all I can really do is try to keep my neck somewhat straight, there’s too much water in my eyes for me to see, but hopefully I can keep my nose and throat open long enough for me to take the occasional breath of air … no, that’s equally crazy, I still feel like I’m forcing it, and I can’t believe this took me forty minutes to write, I was banking on twenty, and now I think I’m going to be late.

One thought on “No conception of time

  1. brunch

    This is all too true. The waterslide analogy hits the nail right on the head. Strange how getting up just a few hours late ruins your productivity for the entire day.

    Reply

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