I recently put some things on craigslist. The day that worked to meet was a day I wasn’t going to be home until rather late, and in response to my half apologetic explanation, I get from (I’ll call him) G:
Oh, to have all the time in the world. That day, I had had a long week, ending with a night and morning of holiday drama and little sleep, followed by 11 hours of being on my feet. A long day, even had I slept. I wanted to get the transaction done and just go to bed.
Instead, I got a well-mannered 14 year old and a very genial, loquacious dad. I’m not sure what we didn’t talk about, actually. It was like we did, in fact, have all the time in the world.
Turns out, G and his dad live in Hillsborough. Hillsborough (the parts that I have seen, anyway) operates on country time – on time where there is enough time to live, because life isn’t crammed full of things that don’t matter.
It reminded me of a peripatetic conversation my partner (DP) and I had a few weeks ago, at the end of a weekend trip, as reality was starting to seep back in. We have a shared dream of living on a big chunk of land out in the country, and my DP was vocalizing how it might be difficult to move at a country pace, where getting anything done often requires a lengthy conversation about the weather or a relative, or whatever of seemingly little real meaning – but the attempt at connection is an important aspect of life. (He might argue about my interpretation of this, but hey, it’s my story and my interpretation).
It hasn’t been so long since I lived at the opposite end of the spectrum, hoping whatever needed to be done could be done in my absence so I wouldn’t have to have that kind of conversation. I have generally been too wrapped up/stressed out/tired/unhappy to have any interest in you, beyond what we have agreed to get done. (And as I type this, it strikes me deeply that this is a yucky way to live!)
The last few weeks in my massage practice have had more talking and sharing of unimportant details of my life and clients lives than maybe all the months before that. I don’t know what has shifted, unless it’s that I am satisfied in my work, and my work doesn’t eat up my whole life, so I have a good chunk of me left over to actually be with each person who sees me. And I guess people sense this, because clients who haven’t talked to date have started talking without provocation. Which is
kind of awesome, really.
But this night that G and his dad came, that was my hour to wind down and recover. And, if I am honest, I was a little begrudging of it being talked away from me, in the beginning. (Being tired causes a wallop of things.) But as the hour went on, the connection became genuine, if mundane, and while I’m not sure I’d recognize G or his dad if we met on the street in Hillsborough, I’d actually be sorry to pass either one up without stopping and spending half an hour saying hello and having a lengthy conversation about the weather or the wife or whatever is important in the moment, however inconsequential in life. Why? Because that’s one way, and a good one, to have all the time in the world.