Starting the clock and counting it down. In three days the first half of the semester will be over when this negotiations class is done. Tick tock tick tock tick tock.
(In this house, that's what the day hand on the clock sounds like.)
I'm glad I signed up for this two-weekend negotiations class, and the first-half-semester change management class before that, and the project management class which will continue until May—all useful, all wanted, all chosen from a wealth of possibilities. A net positive, no doubt. Loading the first half of the spring semester was also intentional: do as many classes as practical when the weather is worst and the days are shortest.
Blah blah blah—all I'm trying to get at is that I'm looking forward to getting the time back. I can't (shouldn't) reasonably complain about the time being gone, and I have to remind myself where it went so I won't complain about it. I have to remind myself that past me wrote some checks that future me has blissfully forgotten and present me has to pay for. Past me is a jerk. If I ever run into past me I'm going to elbow him in the ribs. I'm going to shake future me until he wakes up and then we're going to take care of the problem. But until then I've got to hack at it alone.
Imagine feeling the strain of over-commitment but taking the time to write all those nonsense words.
I'm going to fill the time up. I know it. I enjoy doing things, making things. That's fine, I think, when handled well. I don't know what "handled well" is and I don't want to define it. Definitions are useful, except when they aren't. I work with enough quantified things—again some useful, some not—to have a good feeling for when the numbers are going to serve me versus when I'm going to serve the numbers. Let the numbers serve themselves. I'm not going to measure how I fill my free time. My free time is just there to catch sparks. All I want to do is to tune into whatever signal says "this is good" or "this is bad", and go from there. If I can't hear that signal, I'll adjust the knobs until I do.