Understanding Time; Or More Accurately – NOT Understanding It

Not really having a job or school or a set schedule at all ever has sort of given me what I consider to be a pretty fun outlook on Time. I think I haven’t had an actual schedule except for the odd appointment for like the past eighteen years or so. This is an amazing feat, let me tell you, because these modern times are tightly controlled by time-obligations and timesponsibilities. You are meant to be places at certain times or else people will JUDGE YOU SEVERELY.

That’s sort of more of expectations of not being late, though, and I am generally a fairly punctual “On Time When I Have to Be” kind of dame. I think. As far as I know?

But well, actually knowing what day it is? That’s another problem entirely!

Not Understanding Time by Amanda Wood

 

It Started Like This:

When I graduated high school, I made the very serious decision to NOT attend a university and become involved in its debtor’s lifestyle. I think I had a lot of very good reasons beyond “wow I’m really lazy and I am enjoying this, my last summer of being a goofy kid.” LITTLE DID I KNOW that I would apparently never shed that skin.

As the summer of 1998 turned into winter-but-still-felt-like-summer-oh-btw-I-also-moved-to-Milwaukee, I started messing up my sleep patterns just because I wanted to sleep when I was sleepy and be awake when I was awakey. This is not conducive to any kind of pattern. During that four years of Wisconsinning, I started to notice that the days were beginning to blur together. I used to be all, “Well this sure FEELS like a Tuesday!” “BOY, whatta Monday!” They all felt like SOMETHING (they felt like what they were, I guess), but I started to lose that. They started to become meaningless. “Oh what, it’s Friday? So? That just means other people are more excited and will be out in the streets getting in my way. I’M STAYING INDOORS. I AM A SHUT-IN. LEAVE ME ALONE.”

I started transitioning into a crank and a freak and started ascribing new meanings to the days of the week. But it was more like weekdays = grey spans of time when I might go to a grocery store or bookstore or something and then weekends = too many people out being peopley. Gross. My weeks became two days, I guess, basically.

 

Eventually, Even That Sad Way of Thinking Changed

Don’t get me wrong. I am still vaguely aware of when weekends are going on, and I still try my best to avoid them. But in the years following my return to Cincinnati, I also started only doing things on weekdays at NIGHT because ugh Daytime People are so… ACTIVE. And they are always running and what if they ran into me?? I COULDN’T GET CLEAN AGAIN, COULD I?? To heck with those guys. Anyway there are 24-hour stores for a reason and I am the #1 reason, in my opinion.

Well, even though I surround myself with day planners and a half a dozen calendars every year, I began to notice that I never ever know what day I am in. I mean, I THINK I usually know like “I think it is Wednesday.” But lord I do not know the actual DATE. Like I might know the month, but don’t count on it. I am great at remembering birthdays but I am even better for missing them simply because I had no idea I was in the day when it was being that day. Sorry, friends and family!

Now I know many of you are saying, “BUT THE CALENDARS, AMANDA. THE CALENDARS.” And you are right. I say the same thing every few weeks. I really SHOULD mark on the calendar each day as it passes so I can glance calendarwards and be like, “all those days are crossed off, that means they have happened. That one doesn’t have an X. That must be ‘today.’ Huh.” That is a great idea. Except somehow I forget!

I seriously wait like five days and then catch up all my calendars. And waiting five days is me being a serious adult and being so much better than usual. When I am in the throes of failing at adulthood, I can go like three months without marking ANY of the calendars. Not even the little one right next to me that has the horses on each page-month. It’s just. I just can’t. I have no idea why. I don’t think there IS a reason unless noting the swift passage of time actually is too much for me to bear on certain weeks. You know how I am a pit of despair like that. Hahaha oh the Good Times!

Underindulgent Self-Portrait of Despair by Amanda Wood

 

That Brings Me to The Day I Originally Wrote This
(Saturday, June 19th, 2010, APPARENTLY)

I had a shindig to attend on June 26th. All day long, I believed that the day of this hastily written article/journal entry was June 26th. ALL DAY LONG. Until my mouse accidentally hovered over the time area in the corner of my ancient desktop computer and it was like “it is June the 19th,” and I was like, “what? Computersaurus, you are mistaken. You have got to be mistaken.” But you know what? It wasn’t mistaken. Not even a little.

Now I have had the days where I think it is Thursday but it turns out to be SUNDAY?? HOW?! OH GOD WHAT DO I DO WITH MY LIFE! And I even have days where I am like, “okay it is Wednesday. Oh wait! YES it is TUESDAY! WHOOO EXTRA DAY TO LOUNGE AROUND WITH LESS GUILT!” But this marked the very first (and only) time that I accidentally felt like I just earned an entire extra week. I mean, my god. I thought it was the last bit of June already. IT WASN’T. THERE WAS LIKE… A WEEK MORE.

It is a bittersweet feeling. A double-edged sword. I mean, I was thoroughly excited to have an extra week. You know how good it feels to get the extra hour every autumn when they give us an extra hour for some reason. It’s like that but DO THE MATH FOR HOW MANY HOURS A WEEK IS. I am not getting paid to do math for you.

At the same time, I am so alarmed that my grasp of the geography of time and my location in it is so… nonexistent. It has been six years since this happened to me, and I am still kind of worried over it. Try as I might, still to this day I can’t keep up with my dozens of calendars, or maps of days. The best thing I have going for me is my Sneer Calendar, which I view through a sort of tunnel vision most of the time and then one day one month changes into another month and time continues to march and I continue to age. Or, my hair continues to change shape and color. One of these days it will hit me all at once.

Sneer Campaign Map of Days

 

Can I ever write an article without it ending with me staring in the mirror, searching for wrinkles and breathing ragged little breaths? I suppose it is more likely that some day I will know what day it really is.

 

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