Time (the lack of it, my desire to increase my agency over how is spend it) is one of my primary obsessions.
January 2022, and we are once more in a liminal state - a beautiful phrase for the prosaic, depressing reality wrought by the confluence of omicron and insufficient infrastructure from federal to state to neighbourhood to community to household. Folks once again confronting difficult choices and dwindling options. We are too burned out to talk about burnout anymore.
Doing chores today and thinking about unstructured time, but mostly about unclaimed time. Moments, hours, days when there are no meetings in the diary, no expectations of a response, no "friendly reminders" hanging about. No obligations to anyone but yourself and those to whom you actively extend the privilege.
The thing about a commute - not so much the happiness-destroying, life-shortening extremes, because all things in moderation - the thing about a commute was that for many people it acted as a stand-in for unclaimed time. A built-in window before "the work day" began and a transition between office and home. A time to think or not think, to read, to listen to music or podcasts or audiobooks, to mindlessly scroll the internet or mindfully take-in the walk, the run, the ride, the drive, the trip.