Just last week, I decided to stop wearing a wrist watch — a staple of my wardrobe for at least 30 years, as well as a constant controlling variable over my life. Now, do I still need to be places and keep track of time? Yes, of course! But do I need some ticking device attached to my body all day?
I love watches! In my opinion, I think they are a very sexy….yes, piece of jewelry with a function, which for me, is a big justification for spending madly on such a thing. I do and I have many.
However, what I’ve just come to realize over time, is wearing a watch and checking it minute to minute, does not guarantee I arrive on time.
I have been chronically late for everything since I was in elementary school: doctors, dentists, meetings, graduations, weddings, classes, dates, soccer games, flights, important events and trivial ones. Sometimes I’m late by just a few minutes, sometimes by hours. Time has simply not been on my side in terms of my keeping track of it. So why bother? Why not release my tight grip and see what life is like with no minute hand speeding by day in, day out, and me trying to ignore it or even beat it. See the irony?
So I took it off. No tan line for me this summer. Now let me say here, keeping track of time for a good reason or any reason is a hard habit to break. Am I looking at my bare wrist multiple times an hour? Yes! Do I feel stupid each time I try to check it and can’t? Of course!However, these brief glances act as gentle reminders of time’s beastly hold over me and my honest attempts to relate to it differently.
I can report in the short period of time since I removed my watch, I feel less anxious. I’m not as panicky this commodity of time is in short supply. And perhaps more importantly, I’m not so self-deprecating by thinking I’m “less than” because I’m always late. I realize too I’m no longer reacting to the thought of not-having-enough-of-it hundreds of times a day. That must be good thing! In fact, I have all the time I need and can finally stop rebelling, raving, railing against its scarcity; a time suck for sure.
And the funny part? I’ve been on-time more in the past two weeks than in the past two decades. Time is malleable. It is ours. Not the other way round. Do I love it? Enjoy it? Have a healthy respect for it? Yes, yes and getting there. But it is NOT in short supply unless we see it that way — - limited, finite. I now argue otherwise. And if I end up only having a 35 minute session with my therapist rather than 50, then let’s focus and get it done. LOVE that!
Do I miss wearing that beautiful accessory on my wrist? Yes, of course! But I’m finding, the trade off is worth it. The less grasping of time, the more I have. And for me, it brings a freedom in living I’ve never known. So thank you Amy for your essay, which allowed me to add to and move in.