I have a confession to make. The other day I was reading Ways to begin gutting Capitalism (and this - Strategies that have Failed), and the first thing that I thought was yeah, but who has TIME for this. Neighbourhood associations, local currencies, growing my own food, it all sounds great, but geez, there's practically no time to eat and sleep any more let alone adding all that face time with people. (I'm also kind of shy, but that's another issue altogether.)
As regular readers know, I'm quitting my job of 9 years and going back to school, and the more I think about it the happier I am about this decision. The truth is, I have a great job, with good pay, a fair bit of autonomy, and great co-workers. But it's not nourishing me. And I have no time to even contemplate a change in my daily routine, such as would be necessary to get more involved in my community. I used to be time rich and cash poor. Now, relatively speaking, I'm cash rich and time poor. I wouldn't really call that progress.
But it's hard to give up busy. There's a certain pride I take in my work and accomplishments, and having a schedule that isn't completely full feels, well, empty. But that's the whole point, isn't it? That unstructured time, that space in the interstices between appointments, is where the mind plays. That's where imagination, creativity, and problem solving all function their best.
So I know all of this, and I accept it. That's why I'm taking about six weeks off (well, I'm taking one class) before full time school starts, and looking forward to it. Despite this, I worry what others will think of me. People might think I'm an unproductive member of society, lazy, morally deficient, stupid, ungodly, whatever. What's this insecurity all about? See, somehow there's this equivalent between how hard a person works in the paid sphere, or how much money she makes, how busy she is, and her moral value. Oh, and the stuff she consumes - people who own BMWs and Audis are superior to people who take the bus, because clearly they work harder.
Let's wrap up. The measure of our moral character is equivalent to our busy-ness. Extra points for each hour of sleep debt incurred. Working so hard to buy more things that take up our time (video games, television, cars, big houses) leaves us us too exhausted to organize. How convenient for capitalism