Turn off time: Taking a break from the calendar

You know I’m always looking for these different natural cycles and different kinds of ways of building in nature into our schedule, into the way that we organize time.
And I find it always interesting to come up with these new ways to structure time.
Just because, as I keep saying, time is clearly the most important thing in our lives.
And so the way we look at it, we can change how we look at it, we can change how we use it, how we build with it, building structures with our time.
And I think that’s always going to be interesting and have a lot of potential to change how we see life.
And as much as I love having all these systems of time, I think it’s also important, as part of this, that we kind of step out of these routines.
Whatever routines we have, whether they’re built-in routines that we’re just automatically following the normal routines, even if we don’t think about it, following the calendar of the year, or even our own routines, if we’re building our own way of structuring time.
I think we need to have certain times that are just outside time, outside structured time.
Certain times where we just don’t think about the calendar, the clock, thinking about scheduling.
As useful as that is almost all the time there’s something that it kind of gets us stuck in our view of time, seeing it as always within this whole structured system.
When we have to remember that time is not- we use that as a tool to use our time usefully, and it’s great, but time doesn’t really fall into these scheduling blocks and structures.
It’s not really there.
It’s an order we put on top of things.
So I think at least once a year, it’s very useful to have this time where I just break the whole schedule.
Just block it all off.
Block the time off as one big chunk of unscheduled time.
Stop looking at my schedule.
Stop following the calendar.
Forget about the weekly cycle, and doing different things on different days of the week.
And just let a day be a day.
And this time of year, around Christmas and New Year’s, seems to be a natural or a very convenient time for it, as a lot of things are closed down, and there is kind of this sense of having a break when it comes to regular business of the year.
And so especially this week between Christmas and New Year’s is this very kind of- I almost think of it as kind of like a magical week, because time seems to be kind of different during this time, like the regular week means less, and it’s like these days that are kind of just floating there in this one week at the end of the year.
So I’m taking two weeks to have this shutdown of scheduling.
And when I count the weeks of the year, I can just count them as 50.
And then these extra two weeks, it’s almost like they’re not even part of the year, and they’re just sort of there floating.
And we can use this as a complete break from regular routines.
As great as routines are, they exist also to be broken.
And that gives us that break that we need.
You know, even I think about the ancient Egyptian calendar: they had 12 months of 30 days, but then there was an extra five days.
So I just imagine them being frustrated by this: why isn’t it this nice, perfect, regular number 360?
Instead we get 365.
So imagine how many people were just sort of bugged by that, because it’s so close to that wonderful, even, divisible, nice number 360.
But we have these extra five days.
So in the ancient Egyptian calendar, they just decided those days aren’t going to be part of any month.
Forget about making some months 31 days.
That’s one way to do it: just sprinkle those five days throughout the year by making these 31-day months.
But I like this idea of just having five days that are not part of any month, and they don’t even exist as part of the the regular year.
And that’s a perfect time to have this kind of year-end festival or year-end kind of routine of breaking the regular calendar every year.
So this seems to me like an opportunity.
It doesn’t need to be in Christmas or New Year’s.
It just happens for me that happens to be a very convenient time but I think there’s something powerful about simply shutting down all our routines, all our way of looking at time, and the structure of time, and calendars, and clocks, and schedules, and organization.
And at least once a year, for some amount of time, some several days, just shut everything down and let a day be a day.
Maybe it’s like a staycation.
It’s a time to maybe clean everything up and sort everything out and get ready for the new year.
But also just give ourselves a break from living inside a schedule.
I mean, this kind of industrial schedule where you know we’re just running ourselves on a clock: just get a break from that.
Just have a few days with no time.
So I’d love to hear how it goes.

#turnofftime #breakfromtime #noclocks

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