free time


Reading up on all things Lukacs for the next chapter. Reread “Reification.” It manages to lose status with each reading. This time i was thoroughly confused as to what reification wasn’t, found myself sick to death of his schematic critiques and his argument structure of: on one hand this is wrong; on the other hand that is wrong: guess what Marx is right. Plus those Bergson bits about fluid time etc. are a bit too romantic. I can’t see why he privlages time over space. Guess its a hegelian thing. Or a German thing according to Said. Now I only see Lukacs as important because he influenced people who did his shtick better. Probably just need sometime away from him.

His talk of time did get me thinking, tho, about the qualitative difference in time between my MA and my PhD. (Isiah Berlin would probably separate the two with some cute entirely false distinction. The MA is the hare. the PHD is the tortoise. on one hand, on the other; guess what liberalism is right. thank god he never finished a book.)

My MA was constant overwhelming time. It consumed me. I was bombarded with new subjects and worked long days practically everyday for a whole year. i didn’t have time for other things. i didn’t really even have time to thing about everything i learned.

My PHD is longer. I already know the subjects to some degree. I have years to work on it. I am managing my obssession. I have decided to treat it like a job.  I work about 6 hours a day, 6 days a week on it. I have time to think about it.

But somehow I feel guilty about this. On one hand i don’t want to burn out. I couldn’t work on it at the same pace as my MA. I also don’t want to. I find that after working on it since October, I want to do other things. I still enjoy it. I just don’t feel bombared by it. Its not a bomarded obsessesion. Its an obssession that it always there. That will pop into my head on my day off. or after im working. It there, but alongside other interests. Its not my MA.

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I just finished a busy week and I felt burnt out. So I decided to take the weekend off. But, I don’t quite know what to do with free time.

My usual free time is spent resting or recovering. I spend the day walking about and then usually watch a movie. Lately, Ive been watching tv shows like The Wire.

But this is usually a few hours at the end of the day or sunday. So i don’t really have much energy. I certainly don’t have expectations.

Taking a weekend off is different. I have two whole days. I can plan and do things. Except, I don’t know what to do.

I can’t do what most people do– consume– because I don’t have any money. So, instead my weekend– my free time– has been intermittently relaxing but also restless and boring with flashes of anxiety and ennui.

How did i get here? has constant work suppressed the emotional content of unfreedom which has surfaced in my extended free time? Is this dread the realization we all feel when free but unable to consume? Or have I become so conditioned to produce or adapt to my craft that the world feels alien without reading and thinking about particular things? I think the answer is probably both, which is why I want to devote my free time to doing something I love that I am terrible at. Not a hobby but a practice where I remain an amateur that resists free time and professionalization.