Under the restrictive pall of Covid – 19, there is the almost universal sense that time itself has become an amorphous, unrecognizable entity. Obviously, without humankind to label, differentiate and characterize time (minutes, days, weeks, Mondays, Fridays, September, good times, bad times, etc.), time would always have remained so – but for the cycles of the seasons, moon, and so on.
Our knack for assigning value judgments to time results mostly from how we have chosen to spend it. For example, in most countries there exists a workweek, typically Mon. – Fri.. Depending upon how people regard work (think drudgery, repetition, obligation as many people do), some days become better than others. Even songs have been written about them. “I don’t like Mondays”, “Tuesday Afternoon”, Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting” and so on, are illustrative of our fondness for or, even, expectations of certain days. Friday, nearly everyone’s favorite, was even honored by what once was the largest restaurant chain in America, TGIFs.
It is no surprise, then, that absent the markers that used to define time, everyone feels disoriented and adrift. Without work, every day feels numbingly similar without much emotional attachment. It’s as if our water supply has been spiked with Prozac. Everything is just OK. Where are the joys and the lows?
But it not just work that is missing. All the things that used to make weekends especially fun are gone. Sports, Friday Happy Hours with friends, weddings on Saturday, sleepy Sundays watching golf (replays don’t really count), Saturday “Honey do” lists (now, every day gets that. Yeesh), even church – all gone. Weekends feel empty.
I used to have a fairly typical relationship with the days of the week and my feelings for them rested upon how many days were left in the workweek and how much I could drink. Sad, but true. Sundays, usually hungover and filled with dread. Mondays and Tuesdays, dry and a bit “white knuckled”. Wednesday, a clearing head and glimmers of fun ahead. Thursday, the drinkers crow-hop. Friday, it was on and so on.
Now that I am sober the vast majority of the time and a weekend chef, the equation has flipped. I love Sundays and Mondays and, because I actually like cooking for pay, everyday is good. Booze has ceased to exert a gravitation pull drawing my attention to the weekend.
So, back on subject, with Sparta now filling the bulk of my daylight hours, my time has been reduced to increments defined by Amazon deliveries (today my bed in a box arrives), tasks thus associated (today I install under bed drawers with slider mechanisms that arrived yesterday and tomorrow I unleash said bed, giving it the requisite 72 hours to assume its intended mass) and new Amazon orders (on Thursday I order the portable washing machine. Yes, this is all on my iPhone scheduler).
I guess I’m really lucky to have such an engrossing hobby.
*This was one of many classic films made mid-century about alcoholism. Ray Milland won Best Actor for a timeless, spot on performance. Some things never change. Man’s relationship to booze is one of them.