Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Getting sorted.

Lately I've been idling away some considerable hours playing puzzle games online. I was doing this last summer, too, though at that point I was finishing Microbiology and working full-time. By the time school started in the fall, I ditched puzzle apps on my phone and stopped playing games on Facebook entirely, recognizing same as the time-sink they are. As if FB itself is not enough of a time-waster.

I wonder why we are compelled to do those things, though? I mean, it definitely tips over into compulsion, and I had plenty of occasions when I used up all 5 lives in Candy Crush and had to wait 30 minutes or so for a new life to become available to play another round. This was previously a behavior from which I naively thought I was immune. 

For many years, I've played solitaire on the computer. I have always considered this a meditative tool, constantly planning things I want to make, things I want to do while playing-- I'm never in a passive vegetative state at such times, and I also don't focus so intently on card moves that I maintain very high win ratios-- that's not what I'm aiming for. I'm wondering, though, if my mental state during such play has changed over time, because playing more suddenly seems so important?

When school is in, I'm focused on objectives, and I'm linear about attacking deadlines, etc., but given the school's-out option of idling, I idle far more than I tell myself I prefer. Even on days when I don't have a test next Tuesday, I want to have objectives toward which I make at least a molecular advancement. Lately, though, I've piddled about to a degree wherein I disappoint myself.

After the intensity of the school session and in anticipation of another which begins in 3 weeks, I will admit I feel no shame about frittering away a bit of time-- the brain needs idle time, too-- but I grow suspicious that this compulsion to not think and to check out with brainless activity is related to the same rationale (or lack thereof) that keeps me from ruthlessly weeding out the outdated/worn/ill-fitting from my wardrobe, or from attacking my files to weed out and destroy the old and unnecessary among my papers.

Idle time is not a problem, but not thinking productively (and realistically) is a problem. I need to rethink this. And I'm attacking that wardrobe and those papers today, by golly!

1 comment:

Old NFO said...

Heh... We ALL need down time, it just depends on how we get it... :-)