yours, tiramisu

how do you view your time?

Last Tuesday over dinner a high school friend lamented the fact that we don't talk nearly enough about how important the way we value our time is. He explained, the reason busy people so often end up in romantic relationships with similarly busy people is because their work schedules lead them to view their free time similarly.

Like most people who work full-time jobs, free time is a rare commodity for me. I think I increasingly resent the fact that someone else dictates how I spend nine hours of my day (and up to fifty, sixty hours of my week, more if you include business travel). And that resentment manifests itself in a sort of maniacal compulsion to get out of the house and do as much as I can in my time outside of work. Some days I find myself leaving my apartment exhausted and getting on the train with no particular destination in mind, driven by an obligation to myself to make the most of my preciously scarce free time and also a desire to take a stand of petty defiance to my corporate overlords.

When I was with my ex (who didn't work at the time), I worked remotely during the day and we would go out after work. But sometimes my obsession with going out and doing something, anything after the clock hit five caused friction in the relationship, because some days she was tired or just didn't feel like going out. I didn't mind that we had such different lifestyles, nor do I think either of us were in the wrong, but those differences forced us to compromise for each other in ways I didn't anticipate.

Sometimes I appreciate this obsession of mine to maximize my spare time, because I think I'd be more depressed if I let my indolence get the better of me instead of going out to explore or hang out with friends. But other times I feel like it gets in my way. Especially when I'm on vacation, I constantly fight the urge to do more, to the point of fighting burnout. I might think I'm squeezing in more living, but when I rush I enjoy everything less and end up more exhausted after vacation than I was before.

I write this as I enjoy my day off today, a travel day to come back from DC. I could have returned to NYC late yesterday night like my brother did and saved myself a day of vacation, but I'm glad I didn't, because the free day gave me a luxuriously slow day to sleep in, take my time, and prepare myself mentally for work tomorrow. I used to avoid these days like the plague, instead packing each day of vacation with as much as I could, but I'm starting to appreciate the beauty of taking a day off that isn't completely packed with plans. It gives me a chance to do what vacation is supposed to help me do: recharge.

thank you for reading; write to me at yourstiramisu 🐌 proton dot me

#english #time