Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Steve broke his watch this week, and feels naked without it. He thinks it's funny that I don't wear one, and rarely care what time it is. I suppose this is one of the benefits of working for myself. I work when work feels right, and play when play feels right. I can go to bed when I'm tired and eat when I'm hungry.

My world isn't totally without schedules, but they are definitely less constricting than those claimed by most people I know. And I'm happy for it. My deadline is this week, which means it is one of those weeks when I feel like the regular people. I have lots to do before Thursday. I'm convinced that wearing a watch would simply stress me out. I work at my own pace, finishing one thing after another, regardless of the time. And somehow it all gets done - watch or no watch. Let me mention here that a watch can make a great fashion statement. I do own a few that I think perfectly compliment my wardrobe. And even when I do slip one on my wrist with a couple of silver bracelets, it's more for the fashion than the time keeping. I look at it only to be sure that I haven't lost it, and that it hasn't slipped under my cuff.

I think it's interesting that we call the machines that keep time "watches" as if it was our job to look at them regularly, being sure that we are keeping up the required pace. It's no wonder that people speed to work and get road rage - it is their job to "watch." And somehow we believe watching will let us control time. I prefer to think that there is no such thing as time. That one moment just follows another. The fact that we measure it so relentlessly has no bearing on its coming and going. It simply is.

I recommend not wearing a watch - for a day, for a week, for a month. If you're like me, your body will find its own special rhythm, knowing when to sleep and when to wake. The afternoon sun will beckon you outside when you need to take a break, and your stomach will tell you when to eat. Someone will ask you what time it is, and your answer will be within 15-30 minutes of whatever the clock says. Surprising, no? No. Keeping time is just one of the things your body does naturally - if you let it.

I guess this talent or time keeping is like any skill that goes unused - it doesn't develop. But if you tap in and rely on it, you'll find it quite useful, and less stressful than "watching."

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