Sometimes all it takes is a dirty bathroom

Both hands were moving vigorously: the right hand violently sawing my toothbrush across my gums, the left hand trying to unstick the globs of toothpaste which had managed to affix themselves to the bowl of my sink over the last couple days. As I brushed, I looked past the sink to the counter, and then to the lid of the toilet, and my disgust led to spitting with noticeably more gusto than usual.

Okay, that’s it. After this week, I’m going to take care of this mess. I just don’t have time right now.

That’s probably the fifth time I’ve said that this semester. You can tell if you look at the bathroom. Luke and I have mastered the system of mutual indifference, where saying nothing means not having to claim responsibility. It does wonders for avoiding cleaning duties, but leaves something to be desired where cleanliness is concerned. Naturally.

But as I watched the saliva, liquified paste, and blood swirl around the drain, I had the sort of epiphany which only ever comes at 1 a.m. and leads to me writing things like this: I will probably never have as much time as I have right now, again.

Seriously, though. My fellowship liberated me from the time-sink that is teaching, and my newness to academia freed me from the typical weight of research productivity a more ideal me might have been generating (after all, it’s hard to do what you are actively being taught the basics of how to do). So if I can’t find the time to do things I want, or need, to do now, the outlook’s fairly bleak for my future.

A professor recently responded to an inquiry about the workload of professors, and balancing it with “life,” that you don’t have time. You make time. His point was that it’s incredibly easy to always be too busy, but that if you decide that you’re going to do something, and are committed to that, then it works out that you do that thing. We find the time to do what matters, and everything else does indeed get pushed to the fringe.

I’ve been pushing a lot of things to the fringe lately, and blaming it on a lack of time; and I’m not just talking about the overambitious dust bunnies on my bathroom floor. I don’t much like that. I think it’s time that I start making time for all the things I don’t have time for. Because let’s face it: if I don’t have time for who I want to be, what do I have time for?

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