"To avoid being a serious man in a frivolous world." - From Memory Babe, a Biography of Jack Kerouac by Gerald Nicosia.
Let’s get a job. Maybe one that consumes large portions of days and most weeks of the year and that goes on and on for decades. Maybe it will take different forms. Maybe at one place for awhile, then another. Perhaps a wholly different career at some point. But let’s make sure that we are busy at something, some sort of profession. There will still be time outside of work. Much of that can be used for sleep, chores and eating and going from one place to the next. That’s clearly not enough. We need a hobby. It could be anything, really. Parasailing or watching TV. Camping or going to sports events. The opera or dance classes. Fill those hours. Don’t let them sit there unattended. It is important to do. To go. To be active. This is life, being occupied. No empty days or even hours or even minutes. Fill it, to the brim. Yes that’s the ticket. Overflow. You really want more to do than you have time for. You want to be able to tell people how busy you’ve been. It’s been so hectic. Children are good for this. They are perfect for riding yourself of idle hours. Career, children, hobbies. Now your set. And best of all its all so important. You can be an important person with so much to do. What’s better than that? You’re needed. People count on you. You’re not some bum sitting on the sidewalk. You’ve got a meeting in 15 minutes. Then the kids need to be picked up. Groceries. Cleaning. Checking emails. You’ve got emails that need answering. Then you’ll “grab” some sleep. You are forever “grabbing” things. Like lunch. Or coffee. Or a run. Or a snack. There’s no time to savor any of it. You just “grab” and go. You’re in a hurry. Yes this is living. To be rushing around. From here to there. From there to here. Take a minute or two say hi to a colleague or a neighbor or a former classmate. Catch up. Then move on. You’ll get together soon. You want to hear more about their recent trip. Another time, of course. Busy now. Wait, you’ve got a text message. Answer it. Then check your emails. You may have a minute to check the news. You are forever “checking” things. No time to study or even peruse. Just a quick check. You know what you wish you had? More time. Never enough. Where does the time go? Wasn’t it just yesterday? Or just last week? Or a year ago? My how they’ve grown. That building is finished so soon? Is it almost April already. Goodness time flies. So push it along by keeping busy. Be a busy little beaver. An idle mind is the devil’s workshop because if you’re not filling every minute you may conceive to do evil. Who has the time? Maybe you’re the type of person who has meetings. Lots of meetings. Some are “important” meetings. Mustn’t be late. Sitting in meetings, taking notes, contributing ideas, being bored, listening to someone prattle on. Schedule the next meeting. Then go to another. Maybe you’ve been in meetings all day. Maybe your meeting will have a special guest speaker to inform and illuminate and elucidate. There will be papers passed out. So many papers. Like the emails, they pile up. Won’t have time to get to them all for awhile. And phone calls to return. I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. I’m on another call now. Is there a good time to reach you? When can we hook up? We need to sit down and talk. I’m on my way to a meeting. Then a conference. Then a workshop. Then a symposium. Later a forum. Oh and then there’s the committee. Yes, we should “do” lunch. Nice little restaurant for lunch. Food’s pretty good (try the linguini) good salads, maybe a cocktail — or two. Comment on the food, updates of family. Vacation plans? New car! Now down to brass tacks. Always those. Time is money. Get ‘er done. Gotta be off. Shame there wasn’t more time. Not enough in the day. “Shoot” me an email. Best to the family. You are forever sending regards, best wishes, kind thoughts, good vibes, condolences and lots of luck. It gets crazy after the holidays, you say. A few months before you said that it gets crazy around the holidays. Couple of months before that you said it gets crazy just before the holidays. Before that it was getting crazy at the start of the school year. Soon you’ll be saying it gets crazy at the end of the school year. Then you’ve got summer and trips and visitors and the kids are off. Summer is always so crazy. And don’t forgot you’ve got a busy time of year at work. Maybe more than one. Combine it with one of those crazy times or fill in a gap in between. For crying out loud you have to pick up the dry cleaning. The car’s in the shop. The cable man is coming this afternoon. You’re building an addition to the back of the house and having the kitchen re-modeled and landscaping the back and you’ve got contractors and gardeners to meet with. Then there’s a carnival at one of the kid’s schools and parent conferences at the other kid’s school and a neighborhood meeting and your dental check up and figuring out Summer camps for the kids and booking flights for vacation and a gift to buy for your cousin’s wedding next month. No, it’s later this month and you need to figure out when to have those friends over for dinner. You’ve been meaning to, been promising for so long. Gotta get on that. Gotta get to things. Gotta stay on top of situations. Can’t let things slip by. Can’t forget. Got those commitments and obligations and responsibilities and work is piling up and you’d better hurry because you’ll be dead someday and then won’t be able to do any of it. None. Imagine that. Well no actually mustn’t think about it. Death, that is. No, no, no, we're filling those hours so we don’t have to contemplate the eternal void. The empty abyss. The long goodbye. The eternal rest. Nope. No time for unpleasantries. Focus on the here and now, 'cause time’s a wasting. Do it to it. You gotta go. Better hustle. Get a move on. Shove off. Take off. On to the next thing. Work is piling, so are chores. You've got so many big piles. No time to relax. No time. No.