The passage of my life is measured out in

What’s your unit of time?

This is what I mean. If you say you’re looking forward to a good _____, or you had a terrible _____, or this _____ is scheduled up pretty tight, or you can’t wait for the next _____, what’s the unit?

For me it’s the week. I hold the idea of a week in my head including what needs to be done, how I feel about the past or present one, how I’m structuring my time. This is true even when I’m not working so that weekends are less important. Sometimes I’m not sure what the next day holds, but when I see it as a week it comes together.

I know people who really live in the day and don’t look much forward or back. And people who are focused on months, whether because of a business reason or just their cognitive slant. And a few who think longer-term. Students particularly think of a term or a school year, and people in some businesses live by the quarter or the fiscal year and think that way constantly.

And if you’re constantly in severe pain, or always drunk, or five years old, life comes by hours at best.

What’s yours?

25 thoughts on “The passage of my life is measured out in

  1. Right now it’s semesters… prior to that it was either a school year (Dasan,) a business week, or a tax year (depending on the situation.)

  2. mine depends on which persona i am currently in. if its hep the mother: this week. if its hep: myself: usually the month. i can’t think in future concepts longer than that really.

  3. Like, four hour chunks. But I measure my past in jobs and apartments (and, to a lesser extent, girlfriends), so I will say things like “that was two jobs ago” or “two apartments ago”.

  4. For me, it depends on what I’m considering. When I think about the brane health, it’s in months because I see the doc once a month. He wants me to live more in the moment, but that’s really hard for me because of some of the things you mention, like pain, whether physical or mental. I think in terms of day to day when I’m thinking about what to eat, although I wish I could be more organized about buying food and cooking. I have a week to week attitude about my interactions with people other than HJ because that’s when Game Night is, and that’s a very regular once a week thing. My days and weeks revolve more around HJ’s work schedule.
    Also around when it’s healthy to go out and eat dessert again, but who doesn’t have that? =)

    1. That all makes sense. I do think in terms of days when thinking of what to cook. The “week” thinking probably comes from years of work weeks.
      Personally I wish I could think ahead more!

      1. When I think ahead too much, I tend to get sort of depressed. Like, if I had a bad year, that impression can carry over into my thoughts about the coming year. Or for seasons, too. I tend to like winter and fall better than spring or summer, so if I think ahead to warm weather, I sorta pre-depress myself sometimes. Silly humans!!

  5. typically schizophrenic for me. in dance class it usually something like “count” or “combination,” constantly trying to only be in the present and the immediate future. but then sometimes i think in lifetimes. but today i’m thinking about today. sometimes i think about the week, sometimes the semester, sometimes the year. months don’t seem to matter as much for some reason.

  6. Weeks, usually. I’m having to learn to think in longer blocks of logical time, as opposed to actual time. I think much of the rest of the year will be measured in chapters, as I have 5 chapter drafts to write between now and xmas…..

  7. coffee spoons?
    I was just reading a memoir where the writer was describing how the first semester of 7th grade was different from the second semester, and it struck me how far I am from being able to construct a coherent narrative of my life. My past is random fragments and images, and my sense of the future gets shaky after the next two minutes.
    (Maybe this is why I get so annoyed waiting for a goddamn cab.)

  8. Weeks, for sure. I think it’s the work week thing. I have this many days of work, then this amount of weekend, and then it starts over again. *sigh*
    But I imagine it may transition to semesters once I start school this fall. When I think about school related things, I think in months.

  9. Huh. My unit of time tends to be deadline-driven (Time Until Deadline [TUD]? T-minus? I’ve got nothing witty). I think it’s because they so inexorably shape everything I can do until they arrive — if something’s big and pressing and due soon, all the rest of my life gets thrown on the fire to meet it. Or if it’s a small project, I still have to think about what can I fit in around the deadline… hrm.
    Like today, for example: I have to create and send comps for 5 signs sometime this morning, and then I’m on to meeting a writing deadline, and then I have to pull a campaign for changing VPNs out of my ass at some point in the near future. And all I can think about right now are those 5 signs I’m putting off doing while my coffee absorbs into my bloodstream.
    When someone asks how my day or week was, I have to think back to which deadlines fell in that timeframe. But when I look at calendars… I prefer the month view.

  10. Frappuccinos.
    During Lent, it’s my only sweet indulgence. I allow myself 4 a week, only on work days. So I find that I look forward to my next frappuccino. It gives me a whole new way of looking at Mondays. No longer do I think of them as the end of a relaxing weekend and the start of another arduous work week. Instead, they are the harbinger of frappuccino!
    I do not pretend to be proud of this.

  11. shirts
    i guess months, if not actual calendar months then at least units of time equal to about a month. having no real responsibilities other than class (which is hardly stressful) makes the days and weeks blend into each other.
    i think in terms of years a lot too, which is curious because i really only have about 7 or so to work with, everything before that is a blur.

  12. I don’t have a fixed unit. I measure time by the temporal proximity to the moment of Leo’s birth. Sorry if that’s sounds clichéd, but it’s true.
    It’s not at all liberating. Before Leo’s birth, I think I measured time in days. I can’t imagine how I could have gotten away with that for so damned long.

  13. all kind of measurements spring to mind depending on the matter
    at hadn
    currently because of the problems it’s been basically 4 hour chunks

  14. Good question. It used to be in chunks of day like hospital, work, sleep. Right now I’m not sure, I just exist day to day, not really thinking of a unit. Mostly I think in terms of milestones, like goals and things to be done.
    I will make remarks about how it has been “A DAY” or I’m having “A MONTH” but that isn’t my mental unit of time, just a measure of how long I’ve felt stressed.

  15. Seasons, for me. I don’t know what weeks even are any more and months head generally in the same direction. I have “a productive spring,” I “put summer aside for myself,” etc.

  16. For me, it depends on context. If I’m at work or doing some project at home, I’m probably ticking things off of my to-do list (I’m one of those OmniFocus/GTD wonks) and measuring in hours. It’s nose-down and head-to-the-grindstone and all that.
    If I’m just living life, I measure in weeks on weekdays and in days on weekends (because the weekend days are so precious.)
    But, then, if I’m doing meta stuff like planning, it’s all in months.
    So, I guess, in summary, I think in hours and weeks mostly, with other units of measure swapped in as needed.

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