Losing Track of Time with Lockdown

The Good and the Bad

‘What are you going to do with all this time?… oh right, you’ve got a blog — you have too much time for it now!’ My friend said this five months ago back in the hostel as he stuffed the last of his items into his tiny suitcase.

March 16 - the coronavirus struck the city hard and the University students headed back home. The lockdown wasn’t fully in effect on that day so we had enough time to pack up and leave. I’ll admit, it was exciting to go back home in the middle of the semester. Being more of an indoor person, I felt prepared for the lockdown. And I was.

I had more time than ever for what I loved to do most — writing. Particularly travel blogs. But that was where it began to go downhill. One week passed by. Two. Third week into my fantasy of becoming a travel blogger one day, then it hit me — no one was reading them anymore.

Who would? With everyone stuck in their homes, travel blogs would make it all the more miserable. With Google, where I previously used to get a thousand reads per month, now went null. But that didn’t stop me from writing. I shifted the niche of the blog and began to write reviews and articles on the subject ‘writing’.

Out of the blue, it turned out to be a pretty good move. Readers came back. I enjoyed it (I still do). But there was an emptiness to it. Writing a blog post or two every week, I still had a lot of time left in my hands. So I decided to do what I’d always dreamed of — writing a book. To be specific, actually complete a book I started. And this was my chance.

So I wrote. Before I’d realize, evenings would have turned to mornings as I buried myself in the chapters. Weeks turned to months. My hair, which would reach the tip of my nose (if I pulled it), began to cover my entire face. As if that wasn’t enough, my muscles started to turn flabby. My legs became weaker. To think of, I sound like a retired dude, don’t I? No, I’m just 18.

With all this going on, I set a deadline for myself- July 15. No matter what, the book was supposed to end on that date. After it, I would workout again. I would take morning walks by myself (with a mask of course) to see if chaos still existed.

After all, I was in between my room’s four walls 24/7 — I had to see the outside world again.

July 15th arrived. The book finished. I could finally set my routine right! Well, maybe…

I did start working out. I shaved the shabby tufts of uneven beard that’d grown. I did all that I had aimed to do. Except — now I have utterly lost track of time. By losing track of it, I don’t just mean days turning to nights and the other way around without me realizing it. There was a whole lot more to it. Yesterday, I woke up in the morning and my phone read ‘Monday-20th July’. I

I decided I would try and fix my biological clock (Yep… TRY), so I slept in at 9 PM hoping to wake up early the next day. Sure enough, I did wake up early.

Except, my phone still read ‘Monday-20th July). It was 11 PM. This wasn’t the only time it happened. Different times had different scenarios. I would wake up at 3 in the morning thinking I woke up from an afternoon nap. Luckily for my addiction to writing, editing, affiliate linking, and so on — it hasn’t bothered much. What has been hitting right on my face is ethics. If you’re still reading, you obviously wouldn’t want to hear that from me now.

Anyway hear me out: While I struggled to figure out when to take a shower and when to shampoo my hair (is this the 3rd or 4th day?), I tried my best for a couple of times to lay on bed and go to sleep. That undoubtedly didn’t help. After hours of restless movement, all I had was a messed up bed and more messed up hair. If there is another way to do it (naturally). It was to go the other way around: Stay awake till the next night so I’d go straight to bed early out of drowsiness.

But for that, I needed to stay awake. That meant I had to keep myself occupied for the following 24 hours without sleeping a wink. I’ll be sincere, with great difficulty — I did it!

I worked for a couple of hours (Not continuously of course). I did the usual of writing and editing which took another six hours. My shower and my meals with a random movie playlist made up another two. I stood by a stray dog that I had a habit of feeding every day for almost a half-hour. I took a long walk (avoiding every human being walking on the same path) accounting for one hour. That left me with another twelve hours. So I watched a movie, made myself a snack spoke with a friend on call for a couple of hours… 7 hours to go.

I was already beginning to shut my eyes. It was too close to my goal to back off now. So I sat down to work one of my brilliant tedious art ideas. And I made this:

Paper basket!

It looks pretty small, doesn’t it? Yeah, it sucked five long hours of my time. However, I slept in an hour early, but I made it. Hooray!

On the not-so-bright side, it lasted for a day and not a minute more. That day I even combed my hair before I took a seat on the living room’s sofa and the very next afternoon I was drooling away on my bed again.

What’s the take on all of this? You probably read this as a personal diary entry and nothing more — but to me, I see defeat. There are no two ways about it. I have to say, with the thing that I love doing most — writing — this is the farthest I have come. Yet with respect to living in a social community, I’ve lost my way. Where I used to try and make conversation, it seems like a thing of the past now. The mask that obviously covers my attempts to smile adds up to it.

What I’ve realized is that this is the society that we’re all evolving into. We might smile at strangers passing by not saying a single word. A world where everyone minds their own business and no more. In the past, where this used to happen because people didn’t have time for anything, it isn’t the case anymore.

While the world shut down and financial burdens went up, time has lost its value.

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Manas Patil

Manas Patil

Turning 20 this year. A Computer Science undergrad currently stuck at home with a blog. If not working on a blog post, I’ll be busy editing a book.