How do you tell time?

Shelley Lieber • 2 min read
How do you tell time?

Well, of course the obvious answer is…I look at a clock.

Ha, truth is, today, I look at my phone. I no longer have clocks—except maybe the one on my stove or in my car, and that one is currently one hour behind, as it will remain until the fall, when the next time change makes it correct once more.

Just last Friday I forgot and after being out for a while on a beautiful day, I returned to my car and was delighted to see it was only 2pm. I wondered why I was so hungry. It wasn’t until I got home, unpacked my packages, and looked at the clock on my stove that I remembered my car clock was one hour behind. No wonder I was so hungry!

But, honestly, time has little meaning for me these days. There is really nothing in my life much anymore that relies on Chronos (linear) time. An occasional appointment, a class, or Zoom call (and I do sometimes mess up with these) make it necessary to know what time it is. Other than that, I have little reason to care what time I get up, eat, or go to sleep.

I can just follow my own rhythms. Many times I am writing or reading and when I do look up on the computer screen or my phone, I’m shocked at the time. Huh, how did THAT happen?

But it makes no difference. It’s a wonderful way to live my life after so many years of time-driven, deadline-oriented days. Two kids, two schedules, work, appointments, deadlines—I did that life long enough.

This new life is preferable. I used to make my appointments early in the morning—hairdresser, doctor, or whatever—so I could be on the road, up and running with the rat race. Now, I rarely get out in the morning. Only occasionally, if absolutely necessary for an appointment—or more enjoyably, if I decide to get out and walk, enjoy the air, sun, and nature.

I like being on Shelley-time. It suits me and my inner self very well.

Not too long ago I went through some boxes in my closet. I found the watch I wore for many years. It was my mother’s and quite beautiful. A Raymond Weil watch with diamonds for the numerals. I put it on my wrist to admire. It was SO HEAVY! I could no longer imagine how I wore it all day, every day.

Time is too heavy to carry around. I’m much better off not knowing—or even being one hour behind—than to bear the weight of that watch or any other again.

This is a 15-minute timed writing from a prompt. It was written longhand, without stopping for edits or correction in a notebook. For publication, I've edited slightly for comprehension. Feel free to use the prompt yourself and see what comes up for you!

← What's your perspective?
What are you hungry for? →

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