Time in a bottle

I had a quick, but interesting discussion with one of my officemates before I left last Thursday night explaining how a combustion engine works. Rooted in the concept of how to work on one's cars themselves and how simple of mechanisms the base is, the higher level discussion was much more one of how to spend your time. Specifically, in this case, whether to spend your few hours away from work (especially in our current state) doing things like car maintenance or not.

Bubble up to a higher level, and you get to something that's been on my mind a lot recently (and has always been, in a lot of ways). Combine the facts that work keeps me away from most everything else right now, my birthday is coming up, I'm not where I really wanted to be days before I turned twenty seven, and that I've been reevaluating my life goals, and you get a recipe for a certainly unhealthy level of introspection.

Needless to say, I thought about this weekend (the only free time I've had recently) and where my time went. Friday night I left work and took the bike to some shops and sat outside a Starbucks to mobile blog a little (yay PitchCar!) and then met up with some friends for a fun and ridiculous dinner at Manny's in uptown, surrounded by a Dallas crowd I had before oh-so unfamiliar with. Only to head home after a few hours and be greeted with a meow from my poor kitty begging for some quality time. I obliged and passed out.

Saturday brought another side out - started the day off with a goal to fix some cars and play some games. Threw some laundry in and fired up Dead Space, which I was determined to beat that day. After a few hours of that, I hung out with John to came to pick up the last of his roommate stuff, and went to the shop to sever my right arm and leg in exchange for my working car with a new fuel pump and window motor back. Spent the rest of the day cooking a late lunch and playing Lego Indiana Jones with Lee - literally the rest of the day, we finished the game at midnight.

Sunday starts up at the crack of dawn with some Discovery Channel with the washer / drier running loudly in the background. Queue up a few trips to Lowes, the bank and Autozone for parts to reassemble cars with, and I'm back on the couch rewiring the door panels to the Firebird that have been sitting on the kitchen table for six months or so. Lather, rinse, repeat the trips to Autozone and Lowes, add some time in the garage in / under the vehicles, and voila, out come a better working bike, a fully assembled Firebird, and a Mustang that still needs some love. A little bit more quality time with the Discovery Channel and some side project work, and end the day before the long week with some Iron Chef and Food Network Challenge.

Interesting that in a lot of ways, I could be spending my time better - not wasting time playing video games, working towards bettering my finances, and profitable ventures, pay someone to keep the cars running, clean the house, figure out what I should / want to be doing, read and expand my knowledge, and in general fix the stuff that's broken. But you know, I felt good at the end of the weekend. My car was all nice and pretty, working, running better. I was finally getting some traction on my side projects, I got to do some gaming, and my laundry was even done! Sure, I didn't figure out the meaning of life, or get a lot of the things done I wanted to, but it was a good weekend. It's a bizarre compromise sometimes, work and play (work, in my case being all the "better my life / fix stuff" things). And is honestly pretty difficult, given how many things I would love to accomplish in my life, and how much time you really have to do it all in.

Twenty seven years? Around ten of which there was really potential to do something? I would have expected more. But there are a lot of games played and friends I spent time goofing off with, and I wouldn't change a minute of that :)

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