I watch Li Ziqi and I despair.
The latest one involves turning scrap wood reclaimed from a barn in the forest into a fence around a pond, breaking rocks to repair the top level of the pond, planting hundreds of seeds and starting them in a greenhouse (a self-made greenhouse, but there's really no reason to point that out because everything on this channel is self-made, and it's almost jarring when something pops up that isn't self-made, like the drill used to set the wedge in the rocks), then screencutting through a few seasons to show the seeds becoming seedlings becoming fruit-bearing plants, and the fruits and vegetables and leaves and seeds being turned into several courses of food.
I could do that.
[sip some water]
[look nonchalantly away from the screen and notice something else in the room, anything else in the room, hoping no one saw me having that thought, because it's the kind of thought that should result in an action or, in the case of Li Ziqi, should result in about 40 actions, many of them chained together but in overlapping sequences that cover minutes and hours and days and seasons]
There is—scarequotes inbound—"more time" now because I don't have to drive to work. There should be time available to start, execute, and finish projects at home. Where does that time go?
Ah—that's the wrong question.
Thoreau, Walden, "Excursions": "As if you could kill time without injuring eternity."
It comes down to principles—... I'm not sure how to finish that one. The principle isn't about filling the time, or about Getting The Most Out Of Your Life, or... I'm not even sure it's about principles now. It's just fun to have ideas and make them real. It's not fun to infinitescroll through social media—you get the dopamine while doing it, which is like fun I suppose, but then the shame hangover, which is certainly not like fun. It's more comfortable to stay inside than to go outside where it's hot and humid; it's more comfortable to stay inside and read some junk articles and to stay inside and finish calculating the material list for the backyard steps.
What to do about it is obvious. Decide to do what needs to be done, and do it. There is no magic.