Being driven and driving

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Yesterday was one of those perfect Sundays, where there were no pressing commitments or even a reason to leave the apartment. We lazed around, making breakfast just before noon and climbing back into bed to watch TV around 2 pm. However, I’ve come to discover that I’m not particularly comfortable with that type of unstructured day anymore. I am driven to feel like I’m using my time effectively and so I heaped 17 different tasks upon myself, cleaning, breaking down a couple of boxes for recycling and stripping the bed so that I could wash everything, including the pillows (in my defense, they did need it).

I scurried with this chore and that scrubbing errand, not finishing and sitting down until 10:30 pm, at which point I was totally exhausted and had negated any of the relaxing benefits that the earlier day had possessed.

I don’t know why I do this to myself. I long to read books or fall back into the trance that comes when you write for extended periods of time. Instead, I write short blog posts, leaping up to wash each dish the moment it becomes dirty. My eyes dart over Twitter, a service that has increased my connection with other people but which has shortened my attention span to the point where I’m unable to absorb more than two or three sentences before needing a topic shift.

At work this morning, I find myself returning to a sensory memory from childhood. It’s a moment that contains a feeling of freedom and is one I’ve continually flashed on over the years. In it, I am driving along a Los Angeles freeway with my mom, heading towards Pasadena. It’s the middle of a weekday and I am aware that under normal circumstances, we should both be at school or work. Whether we’re playing hooky or just in the midst of a week-long break from school, I don’t know. I can feel the rays of the Southern California sun and the am excited by the speed and movement of the highway. There is something so joyous about the moment, back in the days when kids were still allowed to sit in the front seat and nothing was more exciting than going to a thrift store with my mom. I am desperate to feel that way again.

2 thoughts on “Being driven and driving

  1. Laura

    I do the same thing where I feel the need to be productive and accomplishing something, anything, even if it is only rearranging the sock drawer. I truly believe it is an art to be able to do nothing and be able to relax in your own home.

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  2. Guamaniac

    I’m the same way (although instead of doing housework, I pile on actual work-work). One thing I’ve found that really helps me to center and relax is just to snuggle with Ethel (my dog). Maybe you need to get a pet (or dress up @blankbaby in a dog suit….ummmmm…..nevermind).

    I feel you about the Twitter thing; I feel more connected, but not more *deeply* connected sometimes. I try not to think about it too much and just enjoy it for what it is.

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