There’s a newborn in the house again. Newborns change the default time chunks that I use for assessment and action. Normally, I think in weeks. Days are shorter intervals that make up a week, and months are a handful of weeks, but the week is the primary reference unit.
During a particularly busy week, or a week of travel, days become the reference unit. During phases of planning, months or quarters.
It’s been 455 hours since the baby was born. Hours are the new base unit, and they will be until he’s on a regular sleep all night and two naps a day kind of schedule. My whole life is lived in hour-long units now. Everything slows down. Each chunk of a few hours is experienced as if it were days. Days feel like weeks.
It’s interesting how the default resets to sync with the kid. For him, each hour is a large percentage of his entire life, so it’s sensible that to better care for him, his parents would start to think of and experience life in smaller units.
I’m always kind of in a rush to get out of this phase, where so many variables can change so quickly. It’s tiring and bad for bigger picture thinking. But it’s rare and special too. I remember fondly, as if it was an entire epoch of my life, those small bundles of hours holding those small bundles of baby and rocking them, burping them, changing them, etc.
It’s interesting, too, how other parts of life and work are experienced differently when I’m in this hour-as-the-base-unit phase. I feel a little more disconnected from all the normal people operating in days, weeks, or months. But it’s also kind of philosophically curious. It gives unique vantage point, like in a sci-fi movie when everyone else is in slow motion while the character walks around at normal speed and observes. You see patterns you normally don’t.
This makes me wonder if I could experiment with deliberately changing my default time chunk, and what it would do.