Wednesday, March 16, 2005

My clock is my enemy.

Today I came to the realization that for the past few days and maybe more, I have been in a state of overwhelm. This didn't occur to me until I stopped to ask why my thoughts were escaping from me when I would pull out my to-do list on my palm pilot. I took a step back this morning and pressed pause on my fleeting world. I made a list of the projects I was working on that required my attention. Thirteen distinct projects, each with difficult outcomes to be reached, intermediate goals to be conquered, and a whole bunch of helplessness to be overcome.

The least favorite moments of my day are when I look at the bottom right corner of my computer screen. It literally hurts my chest and causes a sharp pain to push my eyeballs out of their sockets when I think of the hours that fly by when I try to do something productive. It is as if time has a mind of its own and it speeds up when I need it to proceed normally. I can sometimes sense the speed fluctuations in the clock -- of course these are my perceptions of them -- whereas the tic-tok of the metronomed second-hand beats away as if it were its own drummer. It sometimes freaks me out when I hear the tempo speed up or slow down because I know I am perceiving time subjectively. Sometimes if I focus and stare at the clock, the seconds hand slows down to the point where I think it might take longer than a second to hit its next beat.

What is on my mind is my nemesis whose name is Time. It is never on my side, and there is never enough of it. Yet, when I am not in the mood of being productive, there seems to be too much of it. It sits there and laughs at me for not being able to use every bit of it. I hate this rhyming and so this thought must stop.

I feel sad because I am sitting in my chair with my feet on my desk and the laptop on my lap (how appropriate) and yet I can not pull myself to do an ounce of work. It was 11:42pm when I started writing this blog, and now it is 12:10am, and it feels like I have been sitting and writing for less than five minutes. How could it have taken me almost half an hour to write these four paragraphs?!? I am a super-fast typer, and can type with astonishing speed. Do I go into minutes of empty thoughts? What happens with this empty time? I could bang this paragraph out in thirty seconds. I noticed this with my other blogs. I would think that I spent ten minutes on an entry, and it would be four hours later. I thought perhaps the blog was set to the wrong time zone, but now it is 12:14am, and it seems as if time has slowed down again.

It would be spooky if there were times where I just sat and stared into space. It is 12:18am and I wrote one sentence. That is 240 seconds of emptiness and I don't know how to account for it. I feel as if I have been writing continuously.

Diary, I am feeling overwhelmed with all that needs to be done, yet in the end I know I always manage to pull it off. Thirteen projects, each with to-do items and results that need to be achieved or I fail in my goals. Keep in mind these are my goals set by me, the self-directed overachiever.

The reason I am going straight to bed after this entry is that other than the fact that the left side of my face hurts from my broken wisdom tooth that is coming out tomorrow, my eyes feel dry and they are closing on me. I cannot even imagine opening a book or doing work tonight.

I am happy for my closest friend from yeshiva who is getting married this Sunday, and I am happy that I will be at his wedding. I made a promise to him and another two years ago that I would be there come hell or high water. I am a bit surprised that I found out just under two hours ago that he was engaged and that the wedding is this Sunday night. What kind of life do I lead where I am disconnected from those that are closest to me and I let my school take over my life? Other than thanking G-d I am able to keep my religion, I thank G-d for keeping my sanity. Or maybe he took that away a long time ago.


ariadneK, Ph.D. said...

Best wishes on a speedy recovery from the wisdom tooth ordeal (I feel your pain!). As for The Great Enemy Time: I feel the pain of that, too. It would be a piece of cake for me or anyone else for that mattter to say "take it easy/take a break", but we all know that's not advice. We all march to whatever clock ticks within us, no matter how frenetic it may be, so good luck and God bless.

Zoe Strickman said...

Thanks; with all the rushing, I barely manage to stay afloat. Someone said to me last year "you'll relax when you're dead". I think I agree more with your advice to "take it easy/take a break" but sometimes I feel that taking a break is all I am doing. Perhaps it is more appropriate to say that most of the time I am zoning out and what I really need in life is to tune in and stay on the channel.

ariadneK, Ph.D. said...

Yep...I totally understand what you mean by the "taking a break is all I am doing" statement too.