“Offer me something inside. A place to go. A place to hide.” – Jessie Ware, Something Inside
What does it mean to live a good life? What about a productive life? How about a happy life? How might I think about these ideas if the answers conflict with one another? – Richard J. Light, How to Live Wisely (New York Times)
Yesterday, I tried to reconcile how I want to be spending my time with how I spend my time. I was unsure, so I spent time SnapChatting my day to see what was going on. I don’t think I did enough talking about what actually happened so tomorrow I’m going to do more explaining. More storytelling.
Today’s exercise, though, asks about how I spend my spare time.
Well, right now, I’m writing. It’s 8:51 P.M. and I’ve watched the premiere of The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (Good job, kid!) and what I’d rather be doing than anything else is typing words into the white screen that Ulysses provides. I don’t do this enough.
I’m most human when I’m writing.
That’s true. I also feel most human when I’m reading other people’s words. I do that often. When I take a break from work and grab an iced skinny hazelnut latte at the nearby Starbucks or take lunch by myself, I’m usually spending my time with the writing of others.
I talk a lot and watch a lot of basketball. When I was a kid, Hell, up until my late twenties, I played a lot of basketball. These days, I’m particularly passionate about women’s pro ball. We are season ticket holders for the Los Angeles Sparks. I’ve seen more women’s basketball live than I’ve seen any other sport, by far.
I love television and consume it in large quantities.
So how do I spend my spare time? Writing. Reading. TV. Ball is life.
Now, the way the question is presented in the Times article, the question is meant to help a person focus their college studies. I extrapolate that to presume this is supposed to be a good way to make decisions professionally, but I’m not so sure. What I know is that when I’ve had to write as the primary work product of a job, it’s dimmed my love for writing.
Having worked in/around television for the bulk of my professional career, my love for it only grows when immersed in the process. I like how those donuts get made. I imagine, at some point, I will get back to that.
I do a lot of reading as part of my gig now. Reading. Editing. Massaging copy. I should do more of it. It’s painful but making someone else’s words better whether through soft nudges or complicated surgery is satisfying.
If a professional basketball team came calling for my services in some way, I’d have to consider it but I worry it would tarnish my love of the game. I’m a fan first. Could I still be with a paycheck on the line?
What I didn’t mention to this point is that I also enjoy doing things in service of the greater good. I didn’t include it because I don’t do enough of it.
I’m making time for writing and reading and basketball and my eyes glued to the endless hours of great tv, but I haven’t been creating space for making the world a better place.
There it is.
A moment of clarity.