Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sense of Time

Kirby: Forget work, it's time for play.
One thing our dogs seem to be particularly good at is knowing what time it is. Baxter and Kirby have little internal bio-clocks that tell them precisely when it is time to get up in the morning, to go for a walk, to take an afternoon nap, to paw at my chair to stop me from working for the day, to eat dinner and to go to bed. And they are spot-on. Daily. I could teach these guys to punch a time clock.

This seems quite remarkable to me, for even though I possess the capability of reading a clock, I still manage to lose track of large periods of time, particularly when I'm focused on projects.

For a person whose work requires me to keep track of my time in 15-minute increments all day long (and I am meticulous about it, mind you), I'm a remarkably time-impaired person by nature. Perhaps it is the rigor of keeping track of my work time that makes me so prone to losing track of my personal time. Or perhaps, out of some need to impose a sense of time on myself, I have gravitated toward work that forces me to account for exactly what I'm doing and how long I spend doing it. I may never know.

One thing I do know is that the time I spend on creative pursuits is time I don't mind losing track of. When I'm in the right frame of mind, I can lose hours on my writing. And when I emerge out the other side, I feel rejuvenated. That escape from time is like a vacation. If I didn't have that capacity to lose track of time, I'm sure the entire creative experience wouldn't happen, or at least it wouldn't happen as well, because I'd be too locked into the here and now.

I guess I really need to be there and then sometimes.