focus(1) Free time is wonderful.
(2) Free time is terrible.

What is “free” time anyway? I’ve been thinking about that question quite a bit lately. Time is only “free” if we can’t think of anything good  with which to fill it. Never seems to be my problem.

More vexing, instead, is the question of WHAT exactly I should be spending my time doing, when there’s not really someone or something dictating it. This is wonderful, yes. Would be MORE wonderful without the wolf at the door, come September after a frugal and paying-job-less summer. But for now, I am trying to enjoy it all and make the best of it.

This damned Midwestern work ethic seems to dictate, to my surprise, that I DO feel like I need to accomplish something useful almost every day. At least on weekdays. When money hasn’t been an issue, I’ve tried to fight that urge. Or, being an English/Humanities professor, I follow Richard Linklater (one of my favorite writer/film directors) down the path of “watching three movies and reading books all day” is work. Yes indeed, a good life if you can get it.

I have to pull myself back to today, however. Today with a midweek holiday looming (YES) and two pending job applications, my to-do list feels scrambled and messy. I know what’s important, I know what I feel like doing, and I know what I wish I had time to do. The sun’s finally out after what feels like weeks of overcast, rainy days. I’m meeting my love and dogs later tonight for holiday fireworks over Lake Erie.

Until then, however, I’ll fill my time:

(1) finishing job apps – teaching statement and cover letters

(2) this somewhat zen-like post

(3) scrubbing up and posting more writing on joyofzen – old academic samples, creative writing, misc.

And all else? A visit to the garden, biking, hiking, kayaking?

At least I have energy. Ambition. At this crucial, changing point in my life, I guess I have that going for me.

A poor sense of time? What, exactly, can really fill the limited hours in a day?


But, at least. What my focus might lack, my interest and energy can repair.

Too much good stuff to do, too little time.

Prioritize and make choices. Do what you choose to do, and do it well.


Off I go.


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