Time, Work, and "I"

I’ve been contemplating time as an affective phenomenon. Namely, how I experience myself always in reference to a specific time in the day or week or month or season.

On a daily level on a weekday, I experience myself affectively as before work, during work, after work, before bed. Each of these phases have feeling associated with them. Before work, resentful about going to work, anxious about whether everything will go well. During work, some days I’m engaged in my work or other times I want to escape. I’d say the general vibe is that I want to be some place else. After work I’m relieved, but also tense about having so little time left in the day (I must use it well). And before bed there’s the sombre mood of having to get up and do it all over again.

On a weekly level, there’s that dreaded feeling I get on Sunday evening, and the Monday blues. On the flip side, there’s the excitement of a Friday and on the weekend everything is great.

I guess as I write this, I am realizing that it’s not so much time and “I” specifically, but how “work” demarcates and slices up time for me.

As I was contemplating this in the morning, I was thinking, “hey, but you’re just here at any moment in time in any place, all the weekday and weekend stuff is made up.”

And the more I can feel good, the less I care about which slice of time I’m currently in. And also which place I’m currently in.


Those are some very familiar feelings haha!
There is some correspondence on the AFT about this and the word periodicity is used, as in human time has periodicity whereas actual time does not.

What I have noticed in myself is that those periods which real time can be divided into are themselves composed of emotions and beliefs.

So the period of ‘before work’ is itself made from those very fears and resentments. As the beliefs and emotions are removed the periods do begin to dissolve and then actual time becomes more and more obvious.

In the AFT writing the correspondent says they have not experienced this periodicity at all for a long time.

For me personally I used to exist across many periods haha, now there are less and less, many have dissolved as there is nothing else backing them anymore and some have remained but are kinda loosing substance also.

I was actually contemplating this very same thing last night as I noticed that there is still this evening time period that is bugging me and how it needs to go also!

It’s kinda fun, like taking a sledgehammer to all these structures and watching as actuality becomes apparent, and it’s all so easy there.

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This is quite an interesting topic, the word schema comes up for me. Because it’s like each situation that we encounter has been pre-packaged into a recipe of how I am meant to feel, think and act.

It’s like through the process of socialisation we take this vast world and divide it into bite-sized chunks. Here I am in my pre-work mode, here I am in my holiday mode etc. This whole thing weaves itself into what it means to exist in the real world.

So I find myself in a situation that conforms to one of the recipes and the whole thing is activated. Maybe I am in a queue that hasn’t moved for a while and I begin to ‘act out’ all the things that have been prescribed for such a situation.

The funny thing is that once this is done enough then as far as ‘I’ am aware that is all there is to life. Which is actually quite obvious when we think about how everyone tends to behave in these predictably shallow ways. It’s like there is a circuit activated and it has option A or B for situation X, and that is it, you play within the confines of these rules.

Someone cuts me off in traffic and I have A - get angry or B - be the bigger person, yet both options are equally programmed, neither is original or authentic.
No matter how creative I get with re-shuffling A and B they are never unique.

And I observe the same thing with time, with this periodicity, I am slotted into a certain period with its own rules and regulations and I operate within those boundaries, taking them as truths. But there is always this sense of something missing, because only when the structure is removed and life is experienced directly then I can be authentic and original.

No wonder ‘I’ wish to escape reality, it is sooo bland man! And what a daring thing it is to risk being authentic and original, but the juice seems very much worth the squeeze.

And here is my answer to why I would want to abandon control, for there is something so much more vibrant and dynamic than control, better than life going exactly according to ‘my’ pre-packaged structures. Those are comparatively so bland even in the best case scenario.


Great post, particularly love the part about periodicity being all there is for a feeling being. You have your weekday self, your weekend self, on and on it goes until you die.

Just now I finished work and was resentful. I’m always resentful after work (except on Friday). Why? It’s because I have to get up and do it all over again tomorrow, and so I’m in my after work phase for the rest of the night. No matter how good of a time I have on a week night, the looming workday casts a pall of despair over it.

Very interesting!


And that “looming workday” can and does disappear in an instant and you see it never was actual in the first place!

Life is grand indeed.

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I like this phrase.

Time is a feeling.

In your post you switch from this premise to the literal times of the day and how you generally feel at that hour.

The literal hours are not the affective time.

However, the feelings start before the literal hour, in that scenario. One is already experiencing affective time related to work, without being literal at work. Indeed, everything which isn’t a surprise, is prepared earlier. How I feel is there in the affective future before the literal time does.

I like this. Catching myself already in the future, one must run down the facts.

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