Wow, this week has just gone and nothing seems to have happened. And yet, our house in numbers for the last 8 days looks something like this:
- 6 essays written
- 5 languages spoken and/or translated from/into
- 3 dinners consisting of Tim Horton’s
- 1 extra major declared
- 3 shifts of work
- 5 days of above 0 degree temperatures + 3 rainstorms
- 2 suppers cooked (on the actual stove)
- 2 birthdays celebrated
- 1 house guest
- 7 philosophers discussed, argued over, and
- 0 midterms (yet… woohoo)
So there was some Glazed Carrot Soup made (p. 105) and Spicy No-Mayo Coleslaw (p. 49), but otherwise that, not a lot of food being prepared, though plenty being consumed…
The beautiful (or horrendous?) part of all this excessive work and lack of time is that the things you want become suddenly so much clearer. This week has presented pleas for more hours, less work, higher grades, fewer classes, another major, a plane ticket home (or 2), a plane ticket literally ANYWHERE, visitors, friends to come to Newfoundland, Newfoundlanders to go to friends in Nova Scotia, another cup(s) of coffee, and again, just a little more time.
The moral of this week of pleas? Time, friends, visitors, travel, and home. Through discussions of hell with Dante, death and anxiety with Heidegger, and Augustine’s constant desire to find some kind of peace, it’s no wonder that these themes keep arising in that real, not-quite-so-philosophical life we are actually leading.
So although the school stuff, and the money stuff and what we’re going to eat for supper are all things that take up time and brain space, what we ask for when we’re going crazy are the things that actually matter. The phone calls from friends on your birthday, or the surprise house guests, planning for trips back home or the desire to keep seeing new things, with enough time to do the things we love – those things matter. It should not take a moment of intense anxiety, as Heidegger says, to make one realize that we need to pursue those things, and not all the others. We should not need to wait for weeks of feeling overwhelmed and over worked to realize that there are things that are important, and we can ask for them. We will always ask for more coffee, new shoes, better weather. Why is it so much harder to say ‘I need time, and space’ or ‘I want someone to keep me company and tell me it’s okay?’
Bell Let’s Talk Day on January 27 brought in millions of dollars to fund initiatives, while promoting conversation about depression, anxiety, OCD, and other mental health issues. Yes, it’s not ideal we have to fundraise for Canadian mental health projects. But at the same time, having conversations across the country about what we can do for each other to help our mental health – those are good conversations. We don’t need to be diagnosed with an illness to recognize that we need company, friends to talk to, visitors to come and stay. We need time and space and caring people to say ‘Hey, I’m here. I’m listening.”
So, in the spirit of Let’s Talk Day, and of Heidegger and Dante and all those other cheerful fellows, find your place in the sun this week. Find someone to stand in it with, and take in all that sunlight. Find Augustine’s peace, and don’t wait for Heidegger’s anxiety to make you do it. Call your family, go visit your friends, and we’re going to start trying to ask for the things we really need, not the little things that are taking up space.
(Feel free to send us a note about finding your place in the sun. We love to read and respond to comments here, or on Facebook!)