I grew up in a family that was time conscious. Every minute counted.
And, we counted every minute.
We were on time, at the right time, in time, with time to spare.
My parents’ house contains a collection of over 89 clocks – all types, sizes, shapes. I know because I took time to count them.
I married into a family that was…more relaxed where time was concerned.
An adjustment for me, to be certain, but one I’ve grown accustomed to and have become comfortable with – for the most part.
My house has no visible clocks apart from the small digital alarm clocks in the bedroom (his and hers) and the tiny keepers of time in the lower right corner of our computer screens.
Oh, yes – I forgot. The VCR/DVD player has one as well, but we don’t use it. And, the coffee pot and microwave…but they blink 00.
Ah, and our cell phones reveal the time if we disturb them.
I look around me, wondering what other clocks hide from my thoughts – silently counting minutes, keeping time, without my notice or consideration.
I’m time conscious. I have to be in order to accomplish goals and be present for things important to me and others. At set times, certain things happen in my day.
I also choose to forget the time. Sometimes it’s important NOT to know what time it is – like when you want to sleep in, or you’re enjoying friends/family, or you need to unwind and relax. Sometimes, some things and some ones are more important than some timely appointment.
Keeping time keeps you wound tightly. When I was a child the clocks and watches (interesting name for clocks we wear on our arms) we had required winding if they were to keep the time/be accurate. On a daily basis, we would wind them. If we forgot, the clock/watch stopped. Time marched on, but time was no longer marked by it.
Time waits for no one.
Having said all that, I now come to the point of this piece.
My mother, who takes off her watch only to bathe, noticed that I no longer wear a watch. I assured her all was well – my cell phone is always with me and if I bother it, the time is revealed.
I also assured her that I have a watch. She inquired as to why I don’t wear it. I gave several reasons.
- I’m not into watches
- I don’t want to
- it bothers me
- I can feel it
- gets in my way
- I might lose it
- battery died
- my cell phone is enough
- it’s not necessary
- I’m not much on jewelry
- can’t see it without my glasses
- I might break it
- it will get wet
- it’s not that important to me
Apparently keeping time on one’s forearm is important to her – she offered to purchase a cheap one for me. I assured her I have one (actually more than one).
“Then why don’t you wear it?” she asked. “You should wear a watch so you always have the time.”
“Battery died and I was too sorry to get another. I’ll get one when we next go shopping,” I said, thinking that would close the matter.
When we next visited Wal-mart she gravitated to the jewelry department. “Pick out one of these watches and I’ll buy it for you.”
Time has a way of erasing some memories – this I know as I pick up speed heading down the backside of 50 – but she had not forgotten.
I suggested a new battery for my old forearm clock and ticked away the seconds before she responded.
I counted 2.
“That old watch? she asked. It might not even work. I’ll get you a new watch. Which of these do you want?”
I argued but she gave me that look…the one she gave me time and time again when I was a child. You know the look your mother gave you…. It meant shut up and do what I say or else.
If I was going to watch time pass on my forearm, I wanted a light weight time piece that did wasn’t a burden and that looked like it was happy to keep time while I ignored it. I found one for under $8. She was pleased.
I wear the watch every time she and I go somewhere, and often when I visit her. Do I look at / tell time by the watch? Rarely. Apparently it’s enough that I keep time. I’m not required to tell time.
My daughter, while looking in the contraption I call a jewelry box for a necklace to wear, came across my old watch and asked me why I never wear it. I offered her the same list above and added one
- Mom bought me this one
She thought it a shame that I have such a pretty watch and never wear it (what good is a watch if it’s not marking time?) and offered to purchase a battery.
I countered, “It’s old and probably doesn’t even work – it would be a waste to buy a battery if the watch won’t work.”
Daughter is kin to her grandmother. “I’ll get you a battery for it,” said she.
And, she did.
And, she put the battery into my old watch.
Now I have two watches…
And, I have a dilemma – which watch do I wear and when? Truth is, well…see the first entry in the list above.
So, I resolved things the easiest way.
I wear both. One on each wrist.
After all, if one clock is good, two must be better.
The more time conscious I am, the more productive I will be. Right?
Perhaps not. Now, I have to take time to return to the bedroom to get the watches, take time to put on the watches, take time to push them up when I wash my hands, take time to take them off….
It seems the watches cost me more time than they save me.
I showed my mom both wrists, the other day, and laughingly told her that I’m keeping double time.
She said I should be able to really get things done now.
And, I probably could if I didn’t waste so much time fiddling with and watching these markers of time.