I don’t know about you, but my sense of time has never really recovered from the pandemic. Time got distended and warped in ways that were hard to appreciate at the time. I struggle to tell if I’m making progress or if I’m standing still.
If I’m really honest with myself, I started losing the thread on time when Trump got elected. I was one of those people for whom that fractured my reality a little. Not because I couldn’t conceive of him winning but because I could. That was my first moment where I felt like I was beginning to split from shared reality as I was so sure he would win and so desperately wanted him to lose.
Somewhere midway through Trump’s term, my health got fucked up. My sense of reality fracturing combined with my first taste of time being distended was when my health went sideways. As I stopped working somewhere in 2018 but it’s hazy. As I spent more and more time in hospitals, doctors offices and in bed, and less time at the office, the usual ways I used to tell time degraded further. Reality had already shattered so no reason not to let time shard too.
So I can’t entirely blame my sense of displacement from time on the pandemic. My sense of instability absolutely predates it by several years. By now much I couldn’t exactly tell you. Between my health and Trump I ended up a step or two off of consensus reality.
This did end up being lucky. As the pandemic was inbound I was prepared before it hit. I had tied myself so effectively into the immune system of the information environment I knew it was coming in December.
But I wasn’t entirely prepared for how much I’d up end my life as the second order effects of the pandemic kicked in. We did the first few months in an apartment, the first summer in a vacation house on the Hudson River and then decamped for my home state of Colorado.
It’s only just as we’ve decided to commit to Montana that my sense of unreality is easing a bit. We’ve got a home that we own and a set of preparations that makes it stable through some gnarly potential futures. So why isn’t the time dilation is easing? Why does it always feel like there is never enough time and also far too much time all at once? If anyone has the answer I am listening.