Today. This day. The present day. Today. Oggi ... Aujourd'hui … Hoy. Just another day. 24 hours. 1440 minutes. 86400 seconds. A whole cycle of the sun rising, moving across the horizon and setting on the other side. Another number to cross off the calendar. Today. Is one of the days … I feel a fly was more productive than I was. Seriously, not kidding! That fly actually managed to hatch, live through childhood, undergo puberty, reproduce, age and die and in the same time that I managed to decide what I want to eat for dinner. Okay, I'm exaggerating a bit … it wasn't quite that bad … was it? I mentally retrieve my steps … I woke up, had breakfast, got dressed, was ready to roll … lost my focus for two seconds … and the next thing I know … the neighbors in the house across the street have switched their lights back on, the clock has effortlessly skipped 6 hours ahead and I have accomplished absolutely nothing!
Okay … no need to panic … I still have a few hours left before I need to go back to bed in order to get those 8 hours of sleep, which I just saw in a Facebook Feed Video, by a professor of neuroscience and psychology, is very important because the mind starts shutting down after 16 hours and fails to make new memories so you end up feeling like you're amnesic, as your body has no chance to rid itself of that toxic protein beta amyloid that is associated with Alzheimer's and your immune system starts ceasing operation reducing anti-cancer fighting immune cells and cardiovascular stress relief … and I really don't wanna die of a heart-stroke-dementia-cancer-attack when I'm 33! But I also really don't want to tell my colleagues at work tomorrow that the most exciting thing that happened to me today was the 2 for 1 chicken sale I got for lunch!
News! I could watch the news! Keep myself informed … stay up to date with events happening around the world … but hearing about all the shitty things that go on everywhere just makes me feel really mad and sad and small and insignificant and powerless and I don't have the time to pick myself up and fight the system right now!
Read a book! Not really an option … I will for sure get caught up in the story and then spend the rest of the day reading … losing even more time.
We might need something around the house? I could go shopping! Easy, just put on shoes and a coat and decide where to go to get what .. and then they might not have it in stock … so I have to go to another store and before you know it, I will have tracked down 5 stores and accumulated a shitload of junk, still missing the one thing I initially left the house for. Might as well order online and save myself the trouble! But I am trying to boycott online-corporate-monopolies … that's right, fighting the system!
Oh .. well look at that … I just spent the last hour trying to decide how to best spend the little remaining time I have left.
Be creative! That's it! Do some work! Yes! I sit down at my computer and start writing:
A Crow's Diary,
Flew in a circle three times today. Then sat down on a branch counting gusts of wind. The crow from the neighboring nest came to join me after the 43rd gust and sat down on the branch beneath me. She crowed. Three times. Then I crowed back. Four times. Then we were silent. For 26 wind-gusts.
Flew down onto the Concrete today and nibbled on an old piece of bread. With cheese. Wasn't good. Ate up all the crumbs anyway. Jumped down a few stairs after that. One by one. Flew off as a human approached.
Had a very lively conversation with a seagull today. Talked to a squirrel after that ... and then a skunk later on.
Okay … these lines are either mind-blowingly brilliant - or the biggest rubbish I have ever written! I delete the last 45 minutes of work.
Why don't I just listen to some music, take a bath, relax and recharge my battery so I am fresh and awake and can be more productive tomorrow … shit … I already did that yesterday!
I'm starting to panic! It's 7 o'clock and I have yet to find an activity that will save my day and not leave me feeling like a useless chunk of human existence … a dreamer … who dreams her life away … wasn't that an Ozzy Osbourne song? No – stop – stay focused!
I start making dinner, end up scrubbing the sink in the bathroom instead, decide to sort out the laundry, get bored, so I look up new job opportunities online … and find myself an hour later standing in a messy pile of dirty underwear, toothbrushes, marinated beef and uncooked pieces of broccoli that will take me an hour to organize!
I grab „Successful Time Management for Dummies“ from the shelf … replace it with my „How to Stay Present“ handbook … forget what I was reading when my phone rings … check my WhatsApp messages … scroll through people's new profile pictures (because I swore to myself not to waste my time mindlessly scrawling through Instagram posts anymore) and discover that I have lost another hour … still standing in front of a pile of 4 unfinished chores and not one bit happier about my life. I consider crying but reconsider, as this outburst of emotions would probably last about half an hour … HALF AN HOUR OF MY LIFE THAT I DO NOT HAVE! … and choose to go for a walk in the dark instead.You can't go wrong with fresh air and exercise is never a waste of time. The world always seems better after a nice walk. It's like the air not only cleanses your lungs but also cleans the space in your head. Gives your brain room to breathe … to contemplate about life, love, the future … isn't that funny though? How everything is always about the future? We learn to mind our manners at home, so we don't make fools of ourselves in kindergarten, we go to kindergarten to get used to being around other kids in school, school prepares us for college, college prepares us for work, we work our asses off to get a good pension plan and spend the last years of our lives recovering from the strains of years and years of preparation for this moment. But you know what they say: You can make plans, but everything will turn out differently in the end anyway. The only thing you know will happen for certain is that you will inevitably die … so really from the day we are born … we just prepare to die. I try not to lose myself in a pseudo-philosophical existential crisis and direct my attention to a duck that just crossed my path. Lucky girl! No worries in the world. No goal to reach, no need to prove herself. And the worst part is … she doesn't even know how lucky she is!
I sit down on a bench about to surrender to the defeat that today is just another one of those days as it starts to rain. Guess that's what you call shit out of luck! I get back up and walk home. I pull my coat tighter around my body and quicken my pace as the drops start getting heavier and heavier.
I catch up with a man in a wheelchair fighting his way up the hill. I stop to offer him my assistance and push him the rest of the way … alright, at least I've done my good deed for the day … say goodbye and run back home.
As I enter my apartment ... the still unfinished tasks, the empty screen on my laptop and sniggering hands on the clock staring me in the face ... I take a moment to be … just be … and remind myself that not everything has to be spectacular … that this confusion is a necessary evil … that these days are a learning process … and that time is only wasted when I tell myself that it is.
I let the beef, the toothbrushes and the pile of clothes be – wasn't that a Beatles' song? - give the clock a sovereign wink …. try to make the best of this day – and write … this.