Friday, August 21, 2009

"Week" is my new unit of time

These days I'm often reminded of the summer holidays of my childhood. I would behave like every day was the last day of the holidays. I would spend every hour of daylight on the roads, playing cricket and hide and seek with the boys. Or riding my bicycle till my legs were ready to fall off. The rest of the time I squandered away reading volumes and volumes of novels and comics. I could not sleep because I was afraid that the holidays will end before I did all that I wanted to. Invariably, the holidays were over too soon. With a heavy heart I would postpone my plans to the following summer.

I cannot help but compare. Now there is no school threatening to start next month, I have no place to be or deadlines to keep. This is the indefinite holiday, at least theoretically, that I always wanted. You would think I would slow down and savor such rare leisure. No! Not me. Time hurtles past at a manic pace, jumping one week at a time. Monday becomes Sunday within a blink of an eye. And I have a compulsive need to account for my time with a rapidly shrinking reading list of books, my overflowing browsing history of interesting nooks in the internet, a steadily increasing stamina for running and the rate at which I'm filling up my blogs.

What is this queer sense of urgency? Why this obsessive need to be busy? What is it that prevents people from enjoying an occasional slow phase of life? Why can't we just be? Is it the sudden absence of the travails of the corporate race that makes us grapple with the unfamiliar lull? Maybe we need tangibly productive items to check off on our mental time sheets. Or is it a fear of drifting a little far or for a little too long?

Whatever be the rationale, week after week I establish milestones and check points and pseudo-deliverables for myself. Maybe because I know no other way but to mercilessly tire myself to sleep, night after inevitable night...