No present like the time

What do you want for Christmas? Some years ago I realized that the answer to that question was “time to enjoy all the stuff I already have.” No joke — at 37 with no kids, I am surrounded by all forms of entertainment. Books, music, movies, games, you name it. I am also blessed with the tools to make any of that stuff myself when inspired to do so. But I’ve gotten to the point where two hours to watch a movie and not do anything else seems like a very long time. I do not need any more expensive toys; I need the time to play with them.

I want time to do nothing, and by nothing I mean nothing planned — whatever I feel like doing. Let’s play a little Rock Band. Hey, I’m going to read this magazine. That’s a good song; let me try to figure out the bassline. I’d like to get through another level in that game I’ve been chipping away at. I like being productive with my time, but I like being random, too, and often I just find myself thinking about the next looming deadline. I know it’s not healthy.

So, after some careful planning and a very intense week of work (today was a 13-hour stretch with lunch at my desk), I have completed more nearly all my assignments for the next issue. I have edited stories, I have written previews and reviews, I have answered the reader mail. I have one or two things left, but they can be done when I return to the office…on January 5. I look forward to forgetting I am employed.

I have plans New Year’s Eve. Other than that, I have just a few ideas of things that would be nice to do if the opportunity presents itself. Some songwriting, some online ProTools classes, maybe make a mix tape for a friend, check out a new restaurant, screw around with the MAME machine downstairs — hell, even blogging. But no schedules. When you live in a world dictated by deadlines, schedules of any kind are the enemy. I think that’s why I find it so hard to relax when I go away on vacation — there is a flight to catch to return home, and the clock starts ticking the moment I arrive. Why leave in the first place?

Last time I had two weeks in a row off was 1995, when I went on my honeymoon. But, after years of asking for it, I’m finally going to get the time I so desperately want for Christmas.

That said, my Amazon wish list is four pages long, and I could use a new wallet.

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