“How long a minute is, depends on which side of the bathroom door you’re on.”

Break A Leg ,None
October 2, 2008

The title to this post is known as Zall’s Second Law.

Every week it seems like Thursday arrives without any warning, and I find myself frantically typing in search of something of any value to write about.

Yesterday I asked someone at work how his day was going, and he said “five minutes ago it was 8 o’clock”. When he said that it was 2:30.

Everyone talks about how time flies when you’re having fun, but the reality is that time flies no matter what you’re doing, and in all contexts and time scales. 

Your day can be half over before you know it, and you haven’t gotten a small fraction done that you had hoped. 

The week can blow by while you’re not paying attention, and now you have to put everything on hold to write a blog post.

Every holiday season doesn’t someone say to you “Doesn’t it just seem like Christmas just ended?”

Then you wake up one morning and this almost three-year-old is digging his feet into your back while you scramble to cling to the last 6 inches of mattress you have left before falling to the floor. And it’s a pretty long drop.

Tying into what I was talking about last week, how can you maintain the discipline necessary to always be doing something worth doing? Worth doing is a tricky concept, interpreted differently by different people. What I find worth doing you may not; what I find worth doing today I may not tomorrow.

Think about how your priorities shift from one day to the next. Screw that, think about how they shift within the same day, absent any external influence. I mean it’s obvious why you rush to the ATM to withdraw money that you weren’t planning on spending: you just found out Jack Johnson is playing a cash-only club in town tonight and you need the money. But that’s an external influence, some new information that causes you to re-evaluate your priorities. 

How about this: every train ride to work and back I evaluate what to read, and it can change each time based on no new information. In the morning I might read The Crossing, but then on the way home I might read from the script for the play I’m rehearsing. Why? Because I have rehearsal that night and I need to get off book. At 7 AM rehearsal is a distant commitment, some hazy fog-shrouded whatever that may or may not happen because let’s face it: the world can end at any moment. As I head home from work and it slowly dawns on me that with each passing minute the likelihood of the world ending diminishes, I realize I’d better damn well get off book.

With that in mind I’ve taken my own advice seriously and started on a few of those projects I talk about but never really get going. I’ve taken my guitar out of the the closet (what?), tuned it, and started reminding my hands how to form those chords I used to know years ago. I bought a quality microphone and recorder so I can get going on that podcast I’ve been thinking about. I’ve come up with a lousy idea for a movie that BY GOD I’m just going to work on, despite the little bits of throw  up I may have to force back down my throat.

That’s life, gang. Forcing the little bits of throw up back down your throat, so you can look back later and realize that you tried to accomplish something and didn’t just play another round of Dogfight 2: The Great War.

OK, I played that for about 30 minutes last night too. I’m working on it.

1 thought on ““How long a minute is, depends on which side of the bathroom door you’re on.””

  1. Americo says:

    It’s the journey, Sir. Not the destination that matters.

    According to legend, when a young boy asked the great Renaissance artist Michelangelo why he was working so hard hitting the block of marble that would eventually become his greatest sculpture, David, the artist replied, “Young man, there is an angel inside this rock, and I am setting him free.”

    Took him three years to finish it. For months prior to even starting on David, he would take his lunch down to the quarry, and sit for hours in front of the large marble slab. His wife finally asked him, “What are you doing down there?” He simply replied, “I’m working.”

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