This is my recipe for the ideal day off:
- 2 hours piano practice
- 2 hours reading
about an hour for a leisurely walk and a pipe
- 1 hour for a nap
- 2 hours writing on an old manual typewriter (focused and distraction-free)
- 1 hour for blogging
another 2 – 3 hours for fiddling around with the computers, reading news and blogs, and blogging
- Whatever's left before bed for a movie, games, & time with the family.
It's a testament to The Wife's powers that I'm able to get days like this as frequently as I do – with good eating and company thrown into the mix. Despite the isolating nature of our interests (she's in her office and her kitchen much of the day) it's really all time with the family. It's a small house, by which I mean just the right size for a childless couple, so even on different floors we're just a hollar away from each other.
It's also a testament to The Wife's patience, by the way, that I'm allowed to practice the piano so much. It can't be easy listening to the same Haydn sonata for months on end.
But as satisfying as it is to have so many sources of pleasure in one life, it also leaves one feeling consistently unsettled by this sense that, whatever I'm doing in this moment, maybe one of those other things might be even more satisfying. So getting myself to focus is a bit of a challenge. It's why I enjoy those hours with simple, mechanical things. One note at a time. One letter at a time. Pharmaceutical companies would suggest I have attention deficit disorder, no doubt, and prescribe some Dexedrine. And I'd tell them to stay the hell out of my head. And to leave the kids alone, too.
Looked at from a different angle, attention deficit disorder is rather a preponderance of joy. What it really does is make one value the preciousness of time.
What I really can't understand is how anyone on this marvelous planet can spend four to six hours a day watching television, or squander a day shopping at the mall. "Really?" I say to them. "This day, this moment, this all that you are in the world right now, and this is the best you can come up with?"