It takes maybe five minutes to login to all of my programs on my primary avocational laptop. I give myself over fifteen minutes for my vocational laptop – in case anything goes wrong. While programs would load on the avocational laptop, before, I would check on my coffee machine, use the restroom, or text. Now, I read. When vocational programs load, I’ll do other things like cook, clean, or when everything else is done, I’ll read.
Or I’ll close my eyes and stretch my neck.
What I won’t do so much of is stare idly at the screen or fidget with my hands or arms. During phone conversations, I may do that more, just because it’s harder to make too much commotion without someone hearing and I have to at least be paying some attention throughout the phone call. Loading programs, however, don’t need much other than watching to see that they load.
My avocational computer could have more RAM.
However, I could also use a new computer in general, but I see no need to get one yet. It’s fine. I can’t crunch the heaviest numbers or play the fanciest games, but i have no need for that. For what I use it for, having load times is fine, so long as you use them for your advantage.
Growing up, I enjoyed the videogames with semi-interactive load times.
Now, having a brief respite from whatever else I’m doing might give me enough time to decide if I really want to be doing what I’m doing, where I can refresh my mind toward my current and next important tasks to see if I’m going closer toward my goals or regressing away from my goals.
At my vocational computer, I have a post-it note reminding me about “The Story.”
I don’t think of it constantly, but if it catches my eye during an idle moment in a phone call or in doing some other work, I might think about how John or Trishna might handle that situation, or I might wonder whether the work I’m doing is helping or hurting me toward my writing goals. I could have learned advanced networking, server work, or anything else in the technical line of work.
Instead, I like having mostly softball questions with the occasional difficult one.
I like easy, repetitive work because, like Murakami writes about at the beginning of What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, writing is much more of a solo activity where we have to train for endurance rather than speed. Writing is not a competitive sport. Do we writers prefer less competitive sports, then, as a rule? I wouldn’t say that, but I’ve been writing for hours so far today where I could have been reading or playing videogames.
That requires an intense degree of focus.
If I can prevent myself from getting too focused on things that won’t serve my goals, whether writing or whatever, then I can advance myself easier with fewer non-goals or goal-obstacles standing in my way. For me, now, the brief moments where a program might load enables me the opportunity to reset any of those stressed-out sensations or practice empathy for myself or others.
Others want more of a challenge from their work.
They might not want any load times at all, which is fine. That is a different mindset and set of priorities than what I have, and I respect their way of going. For me, if I know it’s going to take a few minutes for something to load, I’d rather progress through a book or do some stretches, rather than burn up about how slow it’s going.
I can use that time to load some water into my dehydrated throat.
Once we know what we want out of life, we can better work toward getting those goals. Is it insecurity that drives us away from these quiet moments? The falling rain outside is the loudest sound in the apartment-mansion now that the motor of the refrigerator has quieted, except for my keyboard banging away. If, instead, I write with more purpose then I don’t worry about whether I’m too loud or not.
Do load times make us face our deepest insecurities?
For me, I dump my insecurities into essays I publish daily, so each time something loads is an opportunity for me to patch up another hole in my thought processes. Am I worried I’ll wake someone up? I haven’t yet. Am I being excessively loud? No. Did I stomp around everywhere I went and do I plan to do so further? No, and so I shouldn’t let these thoughts goad me into feeling bad.
I haven’t read any of this book since last night.
I’ve wanted to build up more of a backlog, so I’ve been using my time for programs to load for this, rather than reading or thinking of good answers to the question of ‘how’s it been?’ by management. I’ll write like I did for this and other essays when I have enough downtime to focus at length on writing complete thoughts or sentences.
Otherwise, if it’s just a minute or two, I’ll read.
I’ve made some good progress in reading this book. I’ve realized that if I don’t feel like reading a book, then I should look at it more critically to decide if I want to finish reading it, or whether I should drop it. If it’s not something I want to pick up during load times, or during idle bits of downtime, then I’m not getting much out of reading it and I should probably stop reading it before it wastes more of my time. Admittedly, it is easier to just look at my smartphone, which is why I think most people do that when they have a free minute, but during those free minutes, we should use that time to consider what we can do to achieve the lifestyle we want to live.
For me, it’s writing when/what I want.
|Sources: My personal and professional experiences.|
|Inspirations: Stephen King wrote about how he read while waiting in line at grocery stores, and I think Asimov did similarly. I’m just trying to figure out how to balance writing with reading and other things I want to do. That means less time for idle pedantry, I suppose.|
|Related: Other Media Meandry essays.|
|Photo: Cardboard and spine|
|Written On: 2020 March 29 [From 2:34am to “I’ll read” at 2:38am. From 3:18am to “doing what I’m doing” at 3:26am. From 3:42am to “getting those goals” at 3:55am. From 4:03am to “by management” at 4:08am. From 10:56pm to “For me, it’s writing” at 11:04pm. Then 11:19pm to conclude. Gdocs.]|
|Last Edited: 2020 April 04 [Adapted from Gdoc, so, second draft; final draft for the Internet.]|