Time Spent


I haven't blogged on here in a long time. It should be nice to get back to it.

Since all this lockdown stuff started happening back in March, I've been thinking about how people spend their time, and how I spend my time. One way it makes sense to me to frame it in is Maslow's heirarchy of needs. A good amount of the 24 hours in my day is spent satisfying physiological needs, sleeping for around 8 hours, cooking and eating, exercising, showering. Then comes saftey needs, mostly job safety fufilled by working for 8 hours. Then there's social belonging, involving spending time with my significant other, spending time with my friends, and spending time with my family. The other two sets of needs: "Self-esteem" and "Self-actualization" are less easy to put parts of my day into, so let's stop using this categorization.

There's a lot of the basic things that I don't think about much, working, sleeping, eating, my time spent on those doesn't interest me much in the context of this thought experiment, so let's call everything else besides this stuff hobbies. What kinds of hobbies are best? I think there's at least a few categories: Social, Physical, and Mental. Social could be hanging out with friends, spending quality time with a partner, or being with family. Physical hobbies could be any form of exercising, like biking, walking, running, hiking, climbing, lifting weights, yoga, swimming, skiing. Finally Mental could include reading, writing, I guess you'd put watching TV and movies in here, playing games, learning not related to school or work, woodworking and gardening maybe. As you can see some hobbies might fit in multiple categories, like does your heart rate have to increase for it to be physical? Where would you put something like Sailing? Which doesn't invlolve muscles much but does involve a lot of thinking about the wind and all the ropes and angles. Or playing games with friends, it could go in mental because most games involve thinking about game theory, but it's also social because you're bantering with your friends.

Anyways, it seems to me that I need a balance of time spent in each of these hobby categories to stay healthy. For example when lockdown started I lost acess to the rock climbing gym, my friends who I could outdoor climb with, and access to parks with climbs in them, so my main form of physical hobby was cut off. I also stopped biking to work because I wasn't going in to work. Social got cutoff too, I didn't interact with my friends as much, nor see my co-workers for lunch chats and board game nights. The time I spent playing video games and watching youtube increased, and it felt like I was developing a mild case of cabin fever. For a certain amount of time - maybe months - in my city in California I wasn't allowed to travel more than 5 miles away from my house, meaning that I had access to only one large park, which was closed due to high demand and fear of infection. I realize that this was a very first-world problem, but one that I - and many others - experienced for the first time. Of course many people have, are, and will suffer much more before the effects of the virus end.

Lockdown caused time to pass in weird ways. Days seemed to pass slowly, as I didn't know how to motivate myself to work from home. But months seemed to fly by without my situation changing. Sindha Agha created an artsy video for Vox about this subject called "How the pandemic distorted time".

That's all for now.