Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Social Dynamics

I have been maintaining a pretty constant focus the past two (and more) weeks. My days typically begin with me writing for 3-5 hours, and then, after writing one to two thousand words, I'm too mentally tired to write anymore. Some days I think about what I'll be writing the next. If only for a little while. But mostly, I am trying to get through the day so I can go to sleep and become fresh enough to write some more.

It may seem a bit odd that one would want to just while the day away in anticipation of the next one, but I don't feel as though I have anything else to do. Mercifully, the Tour de France will be on soon.

Yesterday, just for a change of pace, I decided to read Chapter 6 aloud. I recorded it for Moose, so he could listen to a chapter with someone speaking in a real voice instead of the computerized text to speech voice. I don't talk as fast as I did in my youth, but I'm still pretty fast. Now everyone can rest assured that I used my voice for the week.

Summer is an interesting time in NY. People are out and about all the time because, well, the weather is only going to be nice for so long. It is a little different out here. Granted this is a city that never sleeps, but it does slow down a lot after 2am and now that it is summer, it has slowed down just a little bit more. I'm sure that's to be expected. I've kept everyone apprised of the temperatures around here. When the overnight low is 85 degrees and it is 100 degrees plus from 10am to 10pm (give or take a half hour either way) I guess it is to be expected that things will slow down a little.

My current schedule is quite annoying. I've been sleeping evenings, 2pm to 10pm. The only worse time slot to be sleeping is 9am to 5pm. That ones a real day killer, but at least I can give people a call in the evenings if I wish. Sleeping away the evenings like I have been keeps me from calling most people. Moose and Kim are probably the only two I can call in the early afternoons (late morning for me) and possibly not be bothering their work schedule. But even so, it is summer and people are looking to get things done.

As a result of this phenomenon, I have noticed a breakdown in communications over the summers. Again, this is to be expected with everyone looking toward being busy, active, and locally social. But I have noticed that over the years, it takes longer and longer into the fall schedule for people to get back into the habit of staying in touch.

I remember getting back in touch with people in September immediately after the summer time ended, but then that eventually got pushed to October on the pretext that school was starting and I needed to get into the swing of things. I have been fortunate in some ways with my birthday being at the end of September. It has forced people (from time to time) to contact me before going to long into the fall season. But even so, whether it was my laziness or just growing old or whatever, eventually, it took to almost Thanksgiving to catch up with people.

I see in movies and TV shows that middle aged "old friends" contact each other annually around Christmas time. I always thought that was some sort of convenient fiction, but I can't help but notice the trend of it getting later and later in the year before I contact old friends. If there has been one distinct change in my own personal social dynamic it is that I have made much more of an effort to contact the friends that life has decided to put physical distance between.

I'm glad I've had the opportunity to call John 2-3 times in the four months I have been here. I haven't normally gotten the opportunity to talk to him more than 2-3 times a year. I am overdue to to call Scott again as well as Kim and Cullen. I guess I'll have to get my sleep schedule back on track so I can do all that. It'll be difficult. People just don't seem to be around as much during the summertime.