#sol22 March 23 Spending Time

Slice of LIfe
Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers March Slice a Day Challenge! I’m slicing every day this month. Thanks for stopping by!op

Once, as a teenager, I spent hours on the couch, transfixed by the shadow of clouds and trees reflected on a metal filing cabinet. The shadow was in the form of a man’s face, and the wind made his mouth move over and over again. It looked like he was shouting. I tried to figure out what he was trying to tell me, it seemed very important.

I used to sit and make mixtapes, or sometimes just listen to the same song over and over again.

As a kid, I spent days trying to solve the riddles in King’s Quest on our IBM. I had the joystick mastered, and knew many of the phrases I had to type out to the characters to get by. But there was still more adventure ahead!

In the summer, I’d spend the afternoon by myself floating in the fold-out pool.

When I was very young, I loved to listen to my records of Disney stories. I’d follow along in the book, and turn the page at the sound of the bell. Sometimes I’d switch to the Disney song records, and sing along to my heart’s content.

I used to color, and later, I’d spend hours talking on the phone.

When I got something new – a cassette, a walkman, a video game… I would study it closely to really get to know it. I used to spend the time.

Why is it so hard to spend time now? Why does slowing down feel wrong? Why do I feel guilty? Why don’t I sit around and listen to music just to listen to music anymore? And for goodness sake, why am I not playing King’s Quest anymore? I would totally rock that game now.

12 thoughts on “#sol22 March 23 Spending Time

  1. I absolutely agree with you and I wonder the same. If I sit and read a book, I feel guilty. I got a coloring book and new colored pencils. I think one page is 1/10th done, if that. I just couldn’t sit and do it.
    Maybe this is part of the “the job is never done” that comes with being an adult, or rather, a parent. When I lived by myself a few years ago, there was still stuff to be done, but it felt a little less DO IT NOW-ish. Or else I just ignored that voice better….

    1. I agree – I think it has a lot to do with becoming a parent .. suddenly I had to be efficient at everything. There’s still so much to do, but I’m trying to remind myself that it doesn’t all need to be done right now!

  2. THIS. This is how we feel in a culture that says we are worth only what we accomplish or produce for someone else (usually for someone else to profit). It says our right to exist is predicated on doing things, and not all these good thing that you listed but instead “useful” things that earn money or serve patriarchy or preserve inequity or all of the above. If you’re me, your soul knows it’s not right, and so does your body, and many times even your mind knows it’s not right. But the whole things churns on, and you keep going. And if you’re me, this eventually leads to mental and physical illness, to the point that your self FORCES you to stop.

    And this is what happened to the whole world; we all forgot that our worth is inherent in our existence and not determined by these thin and harmful measures, and we all were operating brokenly and in pain, and even when worldwide disease and uprisings and beatdowns and 21st century lynchings and lies brought everything to an actual, concrete HALT, we have failed to turn away from it.

    Every nanosecond you spend lying on the sofa looking at shadows is a VICTORY. When you float in a pool thinking, or memorize every word to a song, or noodle or doodle: you are a fxxxing CHAMPION and I commend you. It’s proof that you are a human being and that you still know how to human.

    Let all the time be spent! May it all be wasted, squandered, released, embraced, enjoyed! Splash that shit around like it’s cheap perfume!!

    1. Your comment here should be a speech somewhere. So powerful.

      I especially love this: “Every nanosecond you spend lying on the sofa looking at shadows is a VICTORY. When you float in a pool thinking, or memorize every word to a song, or noodle or doodle: you are a fxxxing CHAMPION and I commend you. It’s proof that you are a human being and that you still know how to human.”

      My body does the same thing — it forces me to stop eventually. I just need to learn to listen to it earlier . . .

  3. If. ONLY. If only there were ways of slowing down and not feeling guilt about it. For me, I think it comes along with being a parent and teacher and just a general human person in the world. There’s always so much to take care of.

    I’ve been trying to get better at it myself. It’s spring break for me and I’m doing my best to let as much go. But you’ve inspired me. Maybe tonight I’ll color for a while before bed…

    Thanks for this slice!

    1. I haven’t colored in so long… I keep asking my kids to color with me, but they never want to. I don’t know why I haven’t just done it anyway. I mean, there’s a basket of coloring books in the basement . . .

  4. “Why does slowing down feel wrong? Why do I feel guilty?”, is what I ask myself everyday. I always feel like I am rushing and can’t sit for more than 10 minutes without feeling silly. Sometimes I will read a book to help and slow down!

  5. It was great to see you tonight, and it’s amazing to read the comments after our conversation about them. Clearly, your post touched many people in important ways. Yes, it is hard to take the time, and yes, there is something that’s great for the soul when you do. I love the precision of the memories in this post. You reminded me of pastimes I haven’t thought about in years! Those dings to turn the page! Those mixed tapes! I think you should go figure out a way to rock that King’s Quest. Maybe I should find myself some handheld football.

    1. So great to see you too! Yes – the comments!! I loved that conversation.

      I keep having a wish that I could play King’s Quest again … imagine how slow and old it would feel now! Still, the nostalgia… It would be worth it I think.

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