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  • Writer's pictureJane Leder

A Time Bubble

I don't know about you but I'm lost in a time bubble. I think it's Monday when it's Wednesday; it's the weekend when the new week has already begun. I used to think that my skewed judgment of time was part and parcel of "retirement." Sure, I have never stopped writing, but deadlines no longer structure my life. If I get an edited version of an essay to my writing coach, great; if not, well, maybe next week.

Add the Pandemic into the mix as we've all had to do, and time becomes both a gift and a curse. Take today: It's cloudy, windy--not my favorite time to take a walk or cut back the few remaining plants and flowers in my garden. There's a void, one I filled quite handily in the spring and summer. But not now.

I bought a restaurant-quality patio heater that stands outside like a beacon of light and hope. We've had it on a few times, and we've been all warm and cozy. But that was when the temperature didn't dip much below 50. I really didn't need more than a sweater. Now, it's in the upper 30s at night. No heat, no socializing, no bananas. What now? Four months stuck in the house with only immediate family which, in my case, includes my son and husband? I'm already depressed.

And we bought a fire pit. (I think I may have mentioned that in an earlier post.) The thing gives off a good amount of heat and a good amount of smoke. Make that, too damn much smoke. It feels like we're trying to send smoke signals to the next state.

The irony of getting older with time going faster and faster isn't lost on me. But now I'm conflicted. I want time to march on because then it will be spring. And every morning for months, I woke up noting the date and hoping beyond hope that the election would be over and that my guy would win. I lived and breathed November 3rd. And then waiting for the results. That was excruciating! And it's still not over. Not really. We have a President who refuses to concede and hand over all the material that's required to form a transition team ready to hit the ground running on January 20.

I'm like a lot of people and want to take advantage of all my free time to get things done, yet I find myself uninterested in the books I've started, the stories I want to write, the kitchen shelves I want to clean. It's as if there is a ball and chain around my neck. I have to will myself to get going; hence, it's been a while since I've posted.

Not all is lost. I've come up with a game plan to break the time bubble. I've promised myself that I would get out of the house every day, if only for twenty minutes to walk around the neighborhood. I've hired a writing coach so that I do have deadlines. And I've vowed to reconnect with old friends by phone, not via text or email. I think we all need personal contact round about now, and we certainly have the time. No excuses.

I keep hearing the lyrics to Pink Floyd's Time. At the beginning of the song, various clocks can be heard ticking away. A reminder that we are never guaranteed time, so the best we can do is use it wisely--even on those dull days.

Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way


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