Time. When I left work last April, I cashed in all my money chips for time. Walking away from the table, I thought I would be awash in stacks of time, but time currency is counted differently than money. With cash, I can hoard or dole out as needed or desired: splurge here, save there. Time trickles out at its constant, measured rate like water draining from a colander. I can notice more mindfully time’s passing, but I can’t hoard it like I can money.
I assumed with so much time, I could accomplish so much while doing so little. Although I’m more productive now on personal projects than when I had a job, I also waste a lot more time. Like discovering a new oil field, the price of time has dropped with abundance, so I more willingly meditate thirty minutes each day or spend a long lunch reading a book. I cross off items from my “to do” list, yet lament that this list grows, not shrinks.
I learn the mantra, “If you don’t wish to be here, you are doing it wrong,” that applies to washing dishes, running, or any activity I wish to rush. Such mantra pulls me back into the present.
I’m running out of time, both figuratively with inevitable death, but literally with the possibility of work soon. Almost as if I’m moving away in two weeks, I feel impelled to visit tourist sites, get errands done, and yet relax or “vacate” as if on work holiday.
I won’t make it to the overnight meditation retreat, junkyard for art projects, Santa Rosa for the Peanuts museum, and so many other intended spots. Yet work does not equal death. I still get to explore, do, and relax when I have a job.