I found this quote on the internet: (I would link to the site, but, like a caveman, I can’t actually remember how to do links in wordpress. I should probably figure it out.)
“As an opposite to what many believe, the best times in life are not passive, receiving and relaxed moments. The best moments occur in general when a human is stretching her body to the maximum in a conscious exertion in order to achieve something difficult and effort worthy.” – Mihaly Csikzentmihalyi
I like this. Mostly because I feel weirdly guilty about free time and, thusly, have an unusual need to be busy ALL THE TIME.
Of course, I expect that normal people don’t live under the tyranny of constant, nagging guilt. I don’t know where it comes from (I’m not even Catholic!), but I feel guilty for seriously weird stuff. Like relaxing, for instance. Other ridiculous things that make me feel guilty include, but are not limited to:
1. Sleeping for more than 7 hours a night
2. Staying inside when it’s sunny outside (I feel like I’m wasting it, you know, because there will NEVER be another sunny day to enjoy)
3. Thinking I’m going to do something and then not doing it (even if there is no longer a need to do it anymore)
4. Getting up late (doesn’t matter if I’ve gotten less than 7 hours of sleep, I still find it disturbing to wake up after, say, 8:30)
Ready for the most ridiculous of all?
5. Feeling guilty
Yup, I feel guilty about feeling guilty. Here’s how the “logic” happens in my brain: I have free time. I feel guilty for having free time. I don’t enjoy my free time because I’m feeling guilty about it. I start to feel guilty for ruining my perfectly respectable free time with all those guilty feelings. Yup, that’s me.
Having down time wasn’t really an issue when I was in school (remember, I do school work at a glacially slow pace), but now that I’m a member of the real world, with an 8-5 job, I find myself faced with an alarming amount of it. Now, I’m not saying I can’t think of things I’d like to do, but they usually cost money. Which I don’t have. Also, as much as I like to be busy, I am a wee bit lacking in the self-motivation category. I need to have things with deadlines. I need people (bosses, professors, coaches, any third party will do) standing over me saying, “You must do this,” in order to really get anything done.
A couple of my friends seem to grasp what I’m talking about with the guilt complex; one even has a similar problem, though no helpful advice on what to do about it; and many, many friends try their very hardest to grapple with the non-logic that is my brain and simply lose.
Here’s a sampling of some of the more interesting suggestions I’ve gotten from people who have had to listen to me whine about how weird it is to have free time now:
1. Have a baby
2. Run a marathon
3. Become a drug dealer
4. Become a drug addict (amazingly these two were suggested by entirely different people for entirely different reasons)
5. Write a book
annnd (this one’s from roomie) …
6. “Jesus! Just learn how to do nothing. It’s not that hard.”
Like most of this sample set, other suggestions for things that would take up a large amount of my time usually come hurtling from so far out of left field that I wonder if any of these people have ever actually met me before.
Run a marathon and write a book, however … well. Hmmm. I’ve just started writing a blog, so maybe I should see how this goes before I leap into book publishing mode (besides, I may be a writer, but I don’t write fiction, so said book’s content would take some thought), but running a marathon … there is that.
I dunno, but the idea’s sort of taken root in my head now. More on this later.