Thinking about time and how it’s used to control and manipulate I decided to come up with my own style of tracking days. Before I explain how it works, let’s talk about the current calendar system being used and some of my problems with it.
The Gregorian Calendar
This is, according to Wikipedia, the most widely used civil calendar in the world and it’s named after Pope Gregory XIII. Now, I don’t have anything against Catholics. On the contrary. Catholics have done great things and were responsible for great progress. That said, I don’t want to have any part in a system created by them. I want to operate on my own time.
The Seven Day Week
According to the BBC, the reason there are seven days in a week “date back to ancient civilizations” and is largely based on what I will call superstition, unlike months and years.
“But while the movement of Earth and Sun give us natural concepts like days and years and the Moon’s phases give us the month, there is no such natural reason for a seven-day week.”
The name of each day of the week also correspond to a Saxon god (I just learned this!) Who are the Saxons? They are one half of Anglo-Saxons. I’ve provided links so you can delve deeper if you choose. My main point is words are important and even if you don’t know the meaning behind them they still have a kind of “power”.
The Work Week and Weekends
I’m just going to grab a passage from Wikipedia:
In 1908, the first five-day workweek in the United States was instituted by a New England cotton mill so that Jewish workers would not have to work on the Sabbath from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. In 1926, Henry Ford began shutting down his automotive factories for all of Saturday and Sunday. In 1929, the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America Union was the first union to demand and receive a five-day workweek. The rest of the United States slowly followed, but it was not until 1940, when a provision of the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act mandating a maximum 40-hour workweek went into effect, that the two-day weekend was adopted nationwide.
It’s all made up, built around religions I don’t follow, and focused on factory work. I don’t work in a factory, I’m not Jewish, and 40 hours is some “random” number. I assume that it’s based on dividing a 24 hour day into thirds (8 hours rest, 8 hours for yourself, and 8 hours of work) and multiplying 8 and 5.
The Flow and Dream Calendar
What I’ve done is quite simple really but it’s taken a long time to get here. I’ve set yearly goals for 10 years now constantly refining what’s important to me. Something I picked up from Taylor Pearson’s “Antifragile Planning” is that one year is too long of a timeline for goal setting. What he does is break things down into quarters (90 days). Actually, the way he explained it was a 25-year goal, 90-day goal, 1-month goal, 1-week goal, and daily goal.
I’ll have to explain the numerology of 108 days separately, but doing things in chunks of 108 days gives me roughly 12 days of planning and reflection between each cycle. I can also break the 108 days down into different amounts like, for example, 36 days with 3 days of reflection and planning. For now, I’m sticking with 108 days.
The way I’m going to track it is as follows:
- 0.0 (the left side is for cycles and the right side is for days) that makes today 1.1
- Once 1.108 is reached reflection begins
- The full cycle ends at the end of the fourth month of the Gregorian Calendar (April 30th, August 31st, and December 31st)
- The new cycle begins on the first and is recorded as such 1.1 (one cycle) 2.1 (two cycles) 36.1 (thirty-six cycles)
Tracking cycles this way allows for greater flexibility with planning, reflection, and setting of goals.
It’s All About the Flow Though
The title of the guide I’d like to create is “Flow to Your Dream” but, spoiler alert, the end goal is “Flow to THE Dream”. The dream is… life. There is no future or past. There is our experience/thoughts in the present. The dream. When you’re planning you’re thinking about/experiencing the “future” when reflecting you’re thinking about/experiencing the “past”, but it all happens here and NOW. That being the case, I optimize for the NOW, the day.
The Perfect Day
There are a few different exercises I’ve picked up over the years to help with reflection and goal setting. One of them is called “The Perfect Day”. What you do in this exercise is write down, in great detail, what your perfect day would be like if you had to live that day over and over again forever. Now that I think about it… there are two “perfect days” you could write down in great detail. The perfect day according to your present situation and your “dream” perfect day (a goal to move towards).
Over the summer I thought about what I might do if I was a billionaire and one of those things was running through the mountains every day. There are a lot of reasons I like the mountain runs. I get to connect with nature, I get exercise, and I get to visit some Buddhist/Daoist temples. Since having that thought I’ve created the “perfect” morning for myself which I guard very seriously.
- I wake up.
- I meditate
- I change clothes to go run
- I come home to shower and eat
- I journal
- I start working
- I hang out with the wife / relax
- I sleep between 10:30 and 11 pm (so I can do it all over again)
Currently, I’m blessed with having mastered the art of minimalism paired with a wife who can cover all of the expenses. My current work doesn’t generate any income, but I’m sure it will soon.
Shamanism, Indigenous Cultures, and Colonialism
There’s something I say pretty regularly:
“All art is martial.”
While going through some notes over this last period of reflection I noticed that I upgraded it but forgot about it. The upgraded version is:
“All systems are martial.”
Life is strange and truth (I believe) lies in paradox. Like, for example, I both believe and don’t believe in free will. I don’t believe in free will because it’s crystal clear there is a period of time when humans don’t possess any free will. I doubt there are many that would say that at the moment of conception one possess free will. When does free will start? At birth? 2 years old? 5 years old? 18 years old? My personal belief is that free will isn’t free. What I mean by that is it’s paid for via… karma, lots of reflection, meeting the right people at the right time, etc.
I recently ran into the idea of a Freedom Quotient. The amount of free will a person has is a spectrum from none (totally brainwashed and controlled by systems) to almost complete (mastering and creating systems).
My goal with creating my own time and my own flow to the day is to shake off the control of systems that are mainly connected to colonialism and reconnect with systems that are closer to nature (shamanism and indigenous systems). Really I want to take the best of both worlds and create new systems which are higher on the freedom quotient.
Enough! Get to Work!
I’m in the middle of my third Pomodoro cycle working on this article (editing in the 4th). Time to wrap it up! My “start working” is using the Pomodoro technique to do focused bits of work spread out over the course of the day. Since I don’t work in an office and don’t need to be “on” 40 hours a week I’m pretty relaxed in my approach to using it. Normally you take a 5-minute break in between but sometimes my breaks run much longer and sometimes I just skip them.
Anyhow… 3 cycles are enough babbling about calendars and my new personal format for tracking days and cycles. 🙂
I picked up The Essential Rumi translated by Coleman Barks for my 2019 reflective reading. Ruminator was born in 1207 and was a dervish mystic, poet, and is someone I think you would enjoy reading.