no time for clocks

This is a photo of Jo asleep in a hammock in the forest while camping.
My preferred way to lose track of time.

It is lovely to wake up to bright sunshine again.

In the last couple of weeks it has been dark while preparing to go to work but since we changed our clocks last night to mark the end of Daylight Saving Time, we are now greeted in the morning, for awhile at least, by a well lit sky.

Now, as I wait for my tea to steep, I notice the clock on the microwave needs to be changed. It takes just a few seconds to force time back with the push of a button. I am reminded that, other than this one appliance, our phones, we have no other way to tell the time. Why is this?

As a minimalist, I likely would not make the design decision to hang clocks on the walls but I suspect that the real reason for having so few timepieces around has to do with feeling like time is chasing me. There is something about being reminded each moment that I have less time to accomplish a task or that I have to get somewhere. A reminder that my beautiful day is coming to an end. I have never owned a watch because somehow it feels like a handcuff!

How do I live without always seeing the time? Well, I note that I am always aware of it, but in broad stretches. I think I just don’t want a constant reminder. We use our cell phones for an alarm to get up. I have a routine to get out the door that takes 45 minutes and with a quick confirmation via the microwave, I can see I am on track. I have allotted 30 minutes to arrive at my destination so there is no need to check what minute it is. I will get there when I get there, more often earlier than planned because sometimes I walk faster than normal. And if I take transit, there is no point wishing for the subway to roll in faster or more often. If I have given myself enough time, then normal transit delays should not interfere with my plans. If working at home and I procrastinate, I might set an alarm on my phone with an amount of time I wish to focus at my desk. When I give myself an evening off, I have no idea of the time, even when I go to bed. I am tired when I am tired.

I realize I divide my day into larger segments but I try not to acknowledge time more than that. I believe this approach helps calm my mind. It has also honed my inner clock. If anyone asks me the time, I am usually within 10 minutes of the correct answer. What are your thoughts on this? I would love to read stories about your relationship with time and the devices you use to keep track of it. Perhaps try this exercise next time you are on holidays – when you have a completely unstructured day, hide any clocks and just see what happens when you do not know what time it is. Please share your results 🙂