I’ve worked really hard in the last year, far more than I had ever worked before, more and more intensely than I had previously believed I could. I met a lot of deadlines, many daily, some hourly. I can do it, I showed myself.

Now I’ve got a break for the next month. I went to the Met with my dad this weekend, just to walk around and chat. Since then I’ve been seeing friends, reading, trying to write. I’ve got no schedule, no deadlines or timelines until late August. I used to live like this all the time; now I’m recapturing something quaint–free time–holding on to it and treating it almost like a guilty pleasure

I know this feeling, if not the specifics:

I can’t go to the Met without getting this overpowering feeling that I’ve wiled away too much of my brief life. You look at the Burghers and wonder how much care that took. How hard he must have worked. And you wonder if you’ll ever be so fortunate as to work that hard at anything. I got up at three this morning and worked on some writing about DOOM. I have been up ever since.

I don’t plan on wiling away any more of my life. Really, that period is over. I once regretted not pushing myself harder. Now laziness and boredom are in the permanent past. But when and where does happiness–calm, spontaneous, unexpected–fit in to life led under gun or deadline? Maybe question is what this month is about.

The whole post excerpted and linked above is A-plus. I trust I’m not the only one it speaks to. Day in, day out, TNC is great, but that post is the best of the man. It’s the best of blogging.

Update 7/30/09: Walking along the Mall in D.C. earlier this week, I spotted hands that looked familiar. They were the Burghers’, displayed at at the Hirshhorn Museum’s sculpture garden. I entered the garden and walked around the statue a couple times, not moved the way TNC had been by the cast at the Met, but still very impressed, captivated even for a couple minutes before I had to move on.

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