Classes ended last weekend. No more assignments. No more team calls, emails, deadlines. It feels surreal .. the craving for adrenalin has already started kicking in. Many of my classmates are already wondering what to do to get their next adrenalin fix. At the same time, we are all glad to be back with our families. Reintroduce ourselves to our children, for example :). Work can now get more of our time and attention as well.
I have already started to wonder – how did we fit it all in? Life already seems so busy in the few days that we had off. The key seems to be interstitial time. The time that used to exist between the different significant commitments in our lives. The time that we started to carve out as a separate part of our lives during the two years in the program. Stop by a cafe and meet team mates to get a home work done before heading home. Stay up later than usual and finish that team call or reading assignment. Finish responding to couple of emails on the phone while walking from one meeting to another.
Now interstitial time is back again in our hands – free to do as we choose. Stare at the walls. Day dream about the 100th startup idea that you had this year. Postpone dusting off that resume and reworking it to test the job market waters with your newly minted hot-shot MBA credentials. Read those books that you have been adding to your wish list, waiting for this day to come.
Interstitial by definition contrasts the ask from that time slot against the ones on the slots that buttress it. Like spending time with children which was a tradeoff that you had to actively make to get through those two years. Now you really don’t need to carve out those big chunks of time. Interstitial time can just be what it should be – short durations of nothingness where the mind gets a rest and the body a breather. And the rest of it gets subsumed yet again into the other higher priorities of our lives, as we plan and scheme to benefit from our newly created identities as graduates from an MBA program.
With due apologies to the Bard and MacBeth, this verse comes to mind on the trade-offs between lazy ambition and the real-world:
“If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well
It were done quickly: if the MBA
Could hurry up the consequences, and catch
With its surcease success; that but this degree
Might be the be-all and the end-all here,
But here, upon this bank and shoal of time,
We’d jump the life to come. But in these cases
We still have interviews here; that we but fail
Bloody resumes, which, being created, return
To plague the inventor: this even-handed justice
Commends the fallouts of our overwrought expectations
To our own present.”