We are all running to the beat of a ticking clock. An individual clock that no one else has access to. (I think of mine as a beat up pocket watch from the late 1800’s). Maybe that’s why we are always asking the time. I think we all get a bit time obsessed really.
In college and before that I didn’t really ever wear a watch. There had been a time when younger, maybe elementary school where I liked having a watch, but that was more to do with the functions like stopwatch and alarms. Low tech compared to anything now, but if it was water resistant (and it was) then putting it on let me pretend to be a super secret spy.
Sometime after graduating it seemed that knowing the time became very important for work and employers and friends. I again went through a phase of watch wearing. One it helped me keep track of group times (facilitating therapy groups and needing to end on time) and two because a nice watch was impressive to the clients and worked as a prop for some therapeutic techniques.
Now enter the world of smart phones, spy worthy watches, and a constant bombardment of time and now. I don’t wear a watch anymore. I do check my phone more than I think is necessary to find out the time. Like multiple times in the same five minutes.
Anyway I was thinking about this over the weekend. I did non-time oriented activities. Reading, a puzzle, playing with kids and dogs and bugs and other things. I also spent a great deal of time just lost in thought – well not lost so much as meandering. And I let time slip away. Not really a flow state like I’ve written about before, but something different. Not highly productive by typical measures, time didn’t fly or bend or anything. It’s almost like it suspended, disappeared or at least faded to the background. A slow state.
It was a vacation from the demands and deadlines of other people’s time. A return to my personal experience time. No ha ving to try to synchronize schedules and watches and make it all fit. No feeling of having to prioritize someone else’s wishes over my responsibilities. (And isn’t that how we look at it – their wants are just that but my things are needs.)
So the thing I am going to work at this week is my perception of time. I am going to evaluate better how I use time and how others demand it from me. Flow states and slow states for me this week. Let’s look at our relationship with time. Let’s cover or remove the external time cues and see if we can’t re-establish a connection with our personal time.