Time has morphed since I left the court. Perhaps metamorphosed? Or as Calvin (of Hobbes) had it: transmogrified? When I was still working, there was a need to get done what I could when I could with the free time I had. I was often focused on time efficiency, and all too often at a certain point had to leave some aspect undone until later. Now there is the concept of plenty of time, which inflates the expectation of how much I can get done.
Admittedly, I’m my own worst enemy. Given all day, I’ll putter around and while fiddling with one thing be reminded of another and get caught up in reading instructions or an article or simply doing a thing in my own sweet time. All of which has easily been complicated these first two weeks by events such as: our anniversary, a dental appointment, ongoing computer repair and issues, meeting friends for lunch, doing a little extra around the house, etc. I’m getting nowhere near as much done as I expected. But it’s okay.
There’s always tomorrow.
Plus last weekend the missus was going to see A Prairie Home Companion, and a friend fell ill so there was an extra ticket. Normally I might have declined saying I wanted to get things done on the weekend. Plus, there was always this point: “I go into the City five times during the week and return five times as well, ten trips total, why would I want to go in on the weekend?” But with the time I have now, I told her I would go. And it was fun. Shot the whole afternoon and evening, but so what?
My father once said to me that he didn’t know how he got anything done while he was working. I understood him then in a theoretical sense that is become more a reality for me.
Since I started at the court in May of 2004, The first full week of January was the first week, Monday through Friday, where I didn’t work at least one of the days. I’d taken as many as nine days off, but I’d work Monday and/or Tues- of the first week and come back for Thurs- or Friday of the next. Odd to have had for so long that invisible, work-cultural, umbilical connection to a seedy, grandiose neighborhood of the City I wouldn’t normally visit, even as it is called the civic center.
For the fifteen years I lived in the City it was an area I bussed or drove through, but rarely set foot in. Then, years later, I got a job in the civic center. I laughed about that. Had I worked for the court when I lived in the neighborhood now known as NOPA (it wasn’t, then), I could have had a nice half hour walk to work. But I moved away in large part because I didn’t like how long the reverse commute was out to my new job in Alameda. I hated spending time in traffic and wanted to live close to work. Then I got married, bought a house in Alameda, and ended up with the long commute about 9/10ths of the way back toward my old neighborhood.
Anyway, I’m still de-compressing, but the persistent need to anticipate, to be proactive, to make sure all the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed in the mandarin world of the court of appeal is draining slowly away.