The 5 O’Clock shadow
The end of a working day looms parallel to my day of inertia and inactivity. It’s this time every day that I start to feel sad, start to evaluate the things I’ve produced and created today. Was it another day wasted in the rabbit warren of social media or have I actually produced something to warrant my place on this earth? If it’s neither does that matter? Is it simply the fading afternoon light that physiologically makes me feel sad? An hour and a half ago I heard the kids from the nearby school finishing for the day. 3 hours before that it was lunch, which has become an island of movement in my day, prior to that my mid-morning coffee and wander into the garden. As I think of each landmark in retrospect they were all accompanied by the feeling of “I’ll do that later” I had the luxury of time being ahead of me then, instead I’ve waited until this part of the day, until I feel this bad before I’ve done anything. The only thing I feel like I’m developing is the skill of cleaning the house to an adequate standard during the 15 minutes my girlfriend commutes home from work.
What if this daily routine is a microcosm of my life as a whole? 70 years of procrastination followed by a flurry of bodged creativity at the age of 84. Finishing with at least some work in the hope that everyone will forget about the lifetime of sitting down that proceeded it. A sprint finish to my life’s walk.
Maybe that period of thinking about doing something is as important as doing the thing itself? Abraham Lincoln once said that “if I were given 6 hours to cut down a tree I would spend the first 4 sharpening my axe.” Maybe me lying on the sofa listening to the podcasts of comedians I hate is me “sharpening my axe”. I mean for a president to spend 6 hours of his day cutting down a tree seems like an awful use of time.
I don’t know, all I know is that 5pm is the part of the day that I feel sad, it’s the time that my little reality of “working from home” collides with the wider reality of people coming home from work, and it makes me feel weird. This probably should be longer but y’know.