The things you have control over... and those you don't.

This morning I woke up before the alarm went off. I lay there, wondering what time it was. It was as possible that it was 6am as it was that it was 10am. And for a while, I didn't want to look, I didn't want to know how late I was, for fear that I had somehow screwed up the alarm setting. Flying around my room and rushing to work is not my forte.

For a while I tried to intuit the time. I didn't hear many voices on the street; could have been very early. But I didn't hear my roommates either; could have been very late. I heard no one in the stairwell: early. But my brain was wide awake and ready to function: late.

Finally I heard the Laundromat's heavy gate being lifted downstairs: 8am. On the dot.

When I moved to Brooklyn in December, I stopped wearing a watch. In a city obsessed with time and efficiency and punctuality, it felt important to have the option of sliding my cell phone out of my bag or not. Not important; vital. The number of times I've frantically and irrationally worried about being late since December? Zero. The number of times I've been relaxed and gone with the flow since then? Countless.


And yet, I'll never be a hippie. I'll always be someone who needs to be *somewhat* punctual; I'll still want to do my work efficiently and on time because I think it's the right thing to do, because I think that's helpful in making progress. Today at work I asked a colleague why she believes she's a pessimist, how it is that some of us are optimists and others not.
"Self-confidence," she said, point-blank.
"But do you feel that you were born a pessimist?"
"No. I think I became one through experience."


There's an saying that says that if you're not a Democrat in your 20's, you're crazy. And you're also crazy if you're not a Republican by your 50's.

What's the inevitable slide? And what's escape-able?


Jill said...

Somewhat related, definitely rambling...

I was on the A train this morning and there was a suit jacket draped over the side of the railing (you know that little spot between the sweet 70's style wood paneling and the pole). This was somewhat annoying to me and as I sat down I gave the supposed owner a look that suggested 'really buddy?'

He got off the train, but the jacket remained. This got my mind racing - oh god, there's a bomb underneath this seemingly benign, if ugly steel blue jacket, which is way too warm for a day like today. Should I do something? Wouldn't it suck if it was one of those train or bus bombs (like the ones in London) that ended up killing only one person and you were that one because you sat in the seat with the jacket draped over the side? Should I do as the ads suggest and tell someone that I saw something?

Yeah, well 59th rolled around and I got off to transfer to the local, and even though I knew I was being ridiculous I wasn't totally over it until that train pulled out of the station.

Do we have control over these fears -- are they part of living in a large city? Even if we know they're ridiculous, they're still there...

Good post btw :) I don't wear a watch either - we're free of our shackles (somewhat, not really)

Anonymous said...

I think that the saying goes--If you're not a democrat when you are in your 20's you have no heart. But if you're not a republican by the time you are in your 50's, you have no mind.

Dr. e