My friend said she didn’t ascribe by this theory, but she thought that my injury had caused me to change the pace of my life, so I had time left to think. And she told me about Byung-Chul Han, a Korean philosopher based in Berlin who writes about the fast pace of living in Western societies. Since they’re so busy, he argues, they lack the opportunity to stop and think.
And what she said is true. The same time I have to meditate, I have to think. Before, I worked all the time (I was stressed either because I had work or because I didn’t); took care of the house and Nathan; and did community work. Today, I have all that time left to think, with the guide of my therapist (it’s the woman who helps me cope with the effects of my injury; as she puts it, of being run over by a truck). And not only is it helpful for me because I can change the way I think and act within my family and circle of friends; it’s also helpful for Eric and Nathan (or I think it is), because I can change my attitude toward them.
There’s yet another thing I’ve gained from my injury, and that’s to pay less attention to time. I’ve no deadlines for anything, precisely because I need to have no deadlines. This means that I can take all my sweet time to write; I don’t have to hand in what I’ve written because there’s no target date set, so my job doesn’t hang on it (as I used to think). I’ve gained time in three different ways, so my injury has made me rich.
Books by Byung-Chul Han, in case you’re interested: The Burnout Society, The Transparency Society, and Psychopolitics