Time just got cheaper.
It's astounding when I think about it.
I can do more things in less time now than ever before.
I realized it last night on my way back from yoga. I had a twenty minute drive from Amherst to Northampton to get home to watch my 9 o'clock program. There was a bit of traffic, but not too much. I was relaxed, but still alert.
I pulled in to my driveway, and made my way upstairs. As I popped the TV on and waited for the fuzzy rabbit-ear fueled picture to appear, I was happy to find that I even had a few minutes to spare.
Because my life now is so much simpler. I have fewer distractions, I have fewer strings attached: a recovering marionette, if you will.
I don't have to stop at the package store, I don't have to swing by to see if my guy is at the bar, I don't have to clean my bowl out and run around the house to find my lighter.
I don't have to do a lot of things that I never really "had" to do in the first place.
I watched my show, and laughed my ass off.
I used the commercials to do things like put on tea water, or grab a handful of homemade granola that my yogini had given me. It may very well be the kindbud of granola. I think it's indoor-grown. The sticky brown, as it were.
And when my show came on, I wasn't busying myself with any number of vice related activities.
I wasn't using that time to clean resin off of my fingers, or hastily peel the first born layers of ice from the top of the tray to cool down my vodka, or inadvertently scrape the faux wood laminate off of my computer desk with a razor.
I was paying attention.
Attention requires the expenditure of time. When the interval of time required entails fewer distractions, then attention becomes easier to amass, therefore making more time accessible using the same amount of energy.
Ergo: Time just got cheaper.
I used to watch a lot of movies.
In fact, it was part of my routine: get a bottle, get a bag of (insert illegal substance here ) and get a movie.
It was always quite embarrassing when, amongst friends or colleagues, somebody would bring up a movie that I had just rented.
"Oh, yeah. That was great, I just saw it," I would say.
And then the quick pang of regret would wash over me. Why did I even say that when I could barely remember what happened beyond the opening credits?
I don't know if this happens with a lot of substance abusers, but I seemed to have retro-active blackouts. I was surely not too inebriated upon watching the first hour or so of any given film, but, by the time it was over (and subsequently, upon waking up on the couch with a cigarette filter in one hand, and an exclamation point of ash on the upholstery-- the burn hole acting as its foundational period) I couldn't remember a damn thing about the movie. Sometimes, I'd even go so far as to watch the included trailer before leaving the house, just so I could cover up if someone said, "What'd you think of that movie I lent you?"
"Oh ... Yeah ... that flick was ... awesome ... thanks." (cue a quickly inserted alternate subject, something, anything ... help).
Same thing goes for baseball.
I love baseball. I have since I was a kid. Red Sox, if you please.
Every year, not including this one, I would spend no less than 3 hours almost every night laying on my couch watching baseball. Well, watching baseball and doing my best to levitate myself off my futon.
Lots of times I'd have to check the computer in the morning before I went to work, once again, to cover up in case anyone asked how the game went. Everybody knew I was a big Sox fan.
More like, I was a big fan of the idea of watching the Red Sox. What I really was, was a big fan of drinking a quart of vodka. I was somewhat of a season ticket holder, although any season was a good season. Curiously, every seat was obstructed view. Damn scalpers.
These days, I enjoy actually following the Red Sox. I listen to them on the radio. This allows me to do things like write, or play guitar, or cook, or practice yoga. I can enjoy the rare art of sending thank-you notes. I can go to my gym and watch baseball on the TV while I work out. Or I can just stay home on a rainy day, lay back on my bed, and relax.
There's no puppeteer lurking in the wings waiting to start the show.
I've cut those strings. They leave awful marks all over me afterwards.
Plus, a puppeteer is tough to sneak into my car. He never wants to stop at the interesting places, and he never chips in for gas.
And while the price of gas may have gotten more expensive, these days I can spend more time looking at the scenery, and less time trying to spot a package store.
Yes, time just got a whole lot cheaper.