Squeezed

squeezed
"Take us aside and we'll register no real complaint, except for the nagging squeeze which seems as though it simply must be at root unnecessary when it might qualify as the very essence of life."

The Muse returns from work and recounts a meeting where everyone reported great satisfaction with their work, except everyone said that they felt Squeezed. Too much worthwhile work, but too little time to complete it properly, the eternal complain of the gainfully employed. The squeeze had been on since forever ago, for there never was a time where available time very closely matched expectations. This seems to be an Old Testament Problem, one that probably pre-dates recorded history. Writing that history was most likely delayed due to a lack of schedule time with competing expectations, trade-offs were made and written history deferred until more pressing business could be concluded. We're all squeezed. Even if no discrete expectations scrunched up the horizon before us, we'd still feel time pressure and wish for a tad fewer demands on our time.

I can foist a piece of this difficulty off onto human anticipation.
Deadlines do seem to loom, though I suspect the looming originates in the imagination, one facility of which humans have an overriding abundance. We don't so much play dead in the presence of deadlines as pretend that we might end up dead should we miss them, though we've missed plenty without losing anything remotely similar to our lives. Despite disconfirming evidence, we still manage to muster some dread before proceeding accordingly. Nobody wants to be perceived as inept or unreliable, we genuinely strive to satisfy even the more unrealistic expectations, juiced up with our own anticipation.

I can feel genuinely Squeezed by what you might consider the most trivial things. An hour left before I'm supposed to zoom The Muse down to The Lab in the morning, and I start feeling pressed. My focus fades and I begin stacking up essential precedent activities, mentally calculating if I have enough time to be ready in time. I immediately drop whatever I was so diligently focused upon in favor of rushing around, the one choice most certain to leave me lost in space and time. I rush to resolution anyway, and maybe I'm ready in a cool fifteen minutes, demonstrating once again just how poorly I estimate how much time even familiar activities might take me to complete. I forego some recent imperatives, and might well end up idling in the driveway for fifteen minutes for my trouble until The Muse walks out through the garage, "finally" ready for work; she on time, me way ahead of it. She'll make it in on time and I will have arrived well before my deadline, leaving a bit of unwritten history in my wake. I'll stalk back to the keyboard upon my return, intent upon turning the clock backwards on the last two hours, struggling to regain my flow.

Flow is no joke. It's that state where anticipation fades, where a body can genuinely feel suspended in space as well as time, where deadlines finally become irrelevant. The best work seems to emerge from this timeless place, though bombarding deadlines and our natural reaction to their presence mostly precludes ever entering there. Within our tightly scheduled environments, timelessness and its attendant flow both seem like no-nos, we just cannot seem to go there. We are, however, endlessly optimistic and readily agree to accept additional assignments atop our already teetering tower of unfinished work. Those of us who live to start new things find our successes in new beginnings, flapping tails of unfinished work endlessly following behind us. Take us aside and we'll register no real complaint, except for the nagging squeeze which seems as though it simply must be at root unnecessary when it might qualify as the very essence of life.

©2020 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved








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