By: Suzanne Reisler Litwin
I have a friend who loves watches. He studies their faces and appreciates the design and precision. He has a huge watch collection. This is his “thing”. I’ve been told watch making is an art. Lately, I’ve developed a greater appreciation for the design and art of creating watches. I suppose my lack of interest in watches is simply due to the fact that I’m not great at keeping time. Actually, I rarely wear a watch.
I’m what you might call, “The 5 minute late lady”. I know this is not a good trait. I try very hard to be an on time or what I like to call, “The never tardy type”. I work on this problem all the time – pun intended.
Seriously, I really do try to fix this. The way to fix any problem is to understand why the problem exists in the first place. I know why I’m a little late all the time, I’m a putterer.
I like to fix and put things away. I organize stuff. I putter around the house and garden. When I do this, I lose myself in time. Then all of a sudden, I’m late and everything becomes a huge rush for me. I really dislike rushing anything.
Often my husband will yell at me to get out of the garden because I have to get ready to go out. Other times, my family will be waiting for me in the car asking, “What is she doing in there?” I know I’m not great with time because I lose myself in it. And… Is that really such a bad thing to have freedom from time?
As a University instructor, it’s impossible to not schedule time efficiently. This is especially true when I have to be in class at a specific time. For this, I am never late. Actually, I’m way too early most of the time, so that I can putter in my classroom before class begins.
In truth, appointments, scheduling, and wearing a watch is something I sort of avoid. I prefer to look at the sun or feel the time day to understand what time it is. I know this doesn’t make sense when most people have every hour of their day booked solid. For me, paying a little less attention to actual real time creates a sense of freedom. Have you ever spent a day without a watch on? Ask yourself this question, “Does time control you or do you control your time?” For me, I control my time, but I lose myself in it always. I know this isn’t a very responsible thing to do. Therefore, I’ve identified this as a problem and I’m working on correcting it.
Less emphasis on time in some situations might create a new sense of freedom. How’s about giving “time” a holiday once in a while. Take off your watch, disconnect the alarm, and read the sun to know what time it is. Just do something when you want to, not when you’re expected to. Give time a rest and maybe more freedom will come to you.
I am not suggesting to suddenly be late for everything. I’m simply suggesting to sometimes ease up on knowing actual time. Ask yourself what controls you? Does time control you or do you control your time? I know that I control my time and I don’t do a great job of it. My awareness of this problem and the source is the beginning of fixing myself. The real problem is the truth … I don’t want to!
New Things to Try:
- Find a day that you are not too busy and take off your watch just for a few hours. How does it feel?
- Look at the sun and try to figure out what time it is. Try to do this again on a cloudy day. It’s harder to do, so take into account how you feel.
- Do an activity that allows you the opportunity to lose yourself in time. I would suggest activities like gardening, cooking, running, reading, playing a game, yoga, and fixing things, etc.
- Try to find a day in which you do not have anything scheduled and don’t wear a watch at all.
- Take off your watch, make a picnic, eat it in a park on a sunny day and read the time from the sky.
Suzanne Reisler Litwin is an author/writer/columnist/educator. She contributes every Monday morning to the West Island Blog’s Keeping it Real Column.
She is an instructor at Concordia University in The Centre for Continuing Education. Suzanne is a freelance contributor to The Suburban newspaper. She is the author of the children’s book, The Black Velvet Jacket. She lives in Montreal, Canada with her 3 children, Allyn, Taylor, and Duke and her husband Laurie. Suzanne contributes regularly to West Island Blog under her column Keeping it Real. Please visit her website www.suzannereislerlitwin.com to read more of her published articles, books, and poetry.