Thursday, September 13, 2007


I remember the very first watch that I received. It was a Timex and it had a blue leather strap and a silver face with a sweeping second hand. I admired it in the display case at Gemco. My mother gave it to me when I was in the 5th grade. And I wore it all the time. Because, I was 10 and had places to be. People to meet. Important appointments to keep.

I think that I probably wore the watch because it made me feel like a grown up. So it's pretty ironic that in the past year, when I have had constant reminders that I must be the grown up, I have given up my watch. The first reason to abandon the watch was practical: it had come from my ex, and was a reminder of her (and her absolute slavery to time) hanging on my wrist. Ergo, it had to go. Half-heartedly, I looked for a new watch. But a new watch was expensive and my old watch was still working just fine, so I couldn't summon the will to spend the money. Instead, I started to leave off wearing the watch.

And I discovered that I rather liked my now unfettered wrist. From a practical point of view, there is a clock in every room in my home, in my car, in my classroom, and I have a cell phone and lap top with me most of the time. If I need to know the time, I need only check. And having to actively look to learn the time made me aware of time in a whole new way.

I no longer rush to go places. I'm not late, I'm just more strategic about planning my time. I like the freedom of doing things when I am ready to do them, not because the clock is directing my actions. And without a watch, I don't check the progress of time. If I am not enjoying something and I can, I leave. Or stop doing it. If I can't control time (say, when I'm waiting at the doctor's office), it doesn't do me any good to check its progress.

In the school year my watch-free wrist helps me to remember the ease and relaxed pace of summer. And when you're a single mama, any reminder of time unbound is a good thing. I think that life in this nation is far too rushed and busy anyway. I question whether all that go-go-go is a good thing. Mostly, I think it's not. So I plan to continue my timeless ways.

You should give it a try.

1 comment:

sister AE said...

Nice post. It made me think of the first watch I had access to - it was a Cinderella watch that my older sister had left at our grandmother's house. I think the watchband had originally been baby blue, but by the time I got my hands on it, the color had faded to a soft grey.