Posted by: nickgerlich | June 10, 2008

Bell Curve

I live in this imaginary place that is a lot like a Bell curve. You know…flat on either end, and with a huge hump in the middle. The X-axis is time, while the Y-axis is busyness.

And in this imaginary curve there are two places I often visit, if only in my mind. One is the past, while the other is the future. Both are serene places, with little to do, and plenty of time to do it in. I recall with warm fuzziness my young adulthood when there must have been great spans of empty time between occurrences, almost as if some big Pause button had been pushed unbeknown to me. And I dream of this future time when all of my work will be done, the bills will be paid, and the house will be forever clean.

Back in the middle of the curve, though, life is hectic. It is the present, the here-and-now. It is the going-80-in-the-70-zone reality of 21C living. It is the email-me, text-me, call-me, catch-me-if-you-can hyphenated world of multitasking, doing it all while driving and eating dinner.

My mother always told me I should never run with scissors, but it feels like I’m juggling a box full of them.

CookiesIt’s fun to drink from the bottles of nostalgia and wishful thinking, but the fact is I doubt my past was any less harried than I am now. And I really doubt my future will be any less frenetic. These bottles are my only escape, though.

Time is precious, and marketers have done a superb job selling me conveniences that will no doubt lighten my load and keep the world from becoming one big Visa commercial. So why does it seem like I am paying cash when everyone else is using plastic?

Just last night at dinner with our accreditation mentor, I felt my iPhone buzz. Not the incoming call kind of buzz, but a text message. But since this was a very important meeting, not even the kind I could sneak to the men’s room for a chance to reply, I had to sit on it. Literally. Until we were all headed our separate ways. So I apologize to my student for making her wait.

Time is critical. There’s just not enough of it, and so I suppose it is only natural that we drift off to other places, the past and a future, where time stands still and we have enough of it to get everything done.

As I snap back to reality, I make a mental note to go check out the latest time-saving device, some super-duper all-in-one that will shave a few seconds from my mental commute. But then off I go again, dreaming of yet another device, one that will allow me to telepathically Twitter so I can spare my fingers the agony, and free them up for some other task.

More importantly, though, I hope I don’t wake up on the beach some day only to find I missed my daughters growing up, or my wife and I growing old together. That bottle cannot be refilled.

Dr “Ticking Away From Me” Gerlich


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: