Iced Borscht
Sweet Frittering in an Offhand Way

Is Quicksand Real?

December 3, 2012 by Ruth Waytz | Filed under A Borscht-In 2012, Stuff.

By Ruth Waytz

Is Quicksand Real?

The short answer is NO. Evidence shows that although technically quicksand does exist, it doesn’t behave in any way close to the crazy-ass manner we were taught it did in all those crappy movies.

But even without there being real, scientist-devouring quicksand, I’m pretty sure we’re all working against some pretty powerful Temporal Quicksand™.

Huh? Well, unless I’m being repeatedly abducted and returned by aliens, What the hell am I doing with huge hunks of my day? I couldn’t rightly tell you. All I know is that Friday after Friday goes cycling by and I have goddamn Nothing to show for myself, even though the amount of Actual Work I have to do at my job doesn’t nearly take up a whole eight-hour day.

I started this last week, on the day Zig Zigler died. I often quote him (or at least paraphrase) that every one of us has the same 24 hours per day. What differentiates Richard Branson from Octomom (from me) is how we choose to use those same 24 hours.

The only explanation is temporal quicksand. Assuming it produces both blindness and amnesia, and that I can’t know what I’m doing while I’m stuck in it, let’s at least look at what am I NOT doing –

I’m not Stumbling Upon, reading Gizmodo, BoingBoing or any other news aggregators (except for my Yahoo news homepage). With the exception of one hour at the end of the day (and ok probably another before bed), I’m barely reading the news feed on Facebook (although I do make a lot of posts to twitter on most work days).

I’m not reading blogs, I’m not on Pinterest, Tumblr or Instagram, and I’m not watching tv or movies on NetFlix or Hulu. I do check email and sometimes troll fab.com or fancy, or look for something specific on eBay or Amazon, but those things are focused and short-lived.

I’m not reading an actual book haven’t been doing any real writing for probably a year.

I’m not exercising (although I used to be quite an enthusiast) and I’m not learning Italian.

My sole multitasking is setting twitter to populate to Facebook, which I’m ashamed to admit is how I communicate with a significant portion of my real-world friends.

And I do take a lot of photos.

Still, several times a day I must slip into some fuzzy, time-devouring bathrobe that adds nothing to me and in fact leaves me with an ever worsening vague but palpable malaise – you never get any time back and you never see the revolving door of temporal quicksand before it swallows you in a single swoosh.

As the end of any year draws nigh, it’s normal to take stock and resolve to make some Big Changes come next month. But unless we outsmart the temporal quicksand, all resolutions are doomed to fail.

It’s too easy to blame work, and besides that if work were the culprit there would be no temporal quicksand at home – and we all know there are huge portals of it in every room in the house.

I’m about to try mimicking school by breaking the day into scheduled and assigned periods and marking the time when I pick up the iPhone to check email or Facebook or whatever.

I don’t want my life to be a blur. I want to be in focus. I want to be productive and make a difference – and I want to stay as far as I can from the temporal quicksand.

I’ll let you know how that goes.

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Written by Ruth Waytz

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