Last week the clock that hung in the dining room fell off the wall and broke. It was not a huge deal, you know these things happen. I didn’t think much of it, tossed the clock and made a mental note to put it on the shopping list. Since then, though I have been struggling in the kitchen. As it turns out that was the only clock in this half of our apartment I paid attention to. Our microwave powers down too often for me to set the clock there and if I’m really cooking it’s likely I’m using the oven display for temperature or as a timer, so without a phone or flicking my wrist trying to get my Fitbit display up (which I usually forget anyway) the kitchen has become timeless for me.
At first, I was distraught of not knowing what time it was and whether I had been chopping veggies or stirring soup 5 minutes or 20. I was aggravated when I was working away in the kitchen or sitting at the table and John would ask for a snack and I would glance at the bare spot on the wall and think “What time did we eat? Has it been long enough for a snack?” and get frustrated the little mechanism wasn’t there to help me keep track of these details. But my anger and frustration got me thinking, how often do I really need to look at the clock? Why can’t I trust my body to keep time for itself?
I think I have forgotten how to allow my body to feel time. I always have a clock or watch or phone or device that can tell me the time in any time zone, but I don’t need those things. I can tell it’s mid morning by the light hitting the table and it’s nearing dinner time when the rumble of the highway is the loudest. I know that it’s ok to have snacks when John is really hungry ( which he is a lot as we are going through another growth spurt). I don’t need a clock to tell me these things. I need to trust my body and environment. It really doesn’t matter how long I work in the kitchen as long as the job gets done.
I think it’s time to let go of the anxiety and rush that gets put on us in the name of time. When the clock was there I was constantly checking it, “am I on time” or “oh no, I took 5 minutes longer eating breakfast today, that’s going to take away from all the things I want to get done today.” Now that I have gotten over the frustration of it not being there, I like not being on the time table and I actually think I am more productive, because I spend less time worrying about how long things are going to take and just get them done.
For now I think I’m going to leave the wall clock-less and see where the time takes me. Are you a clock checker? Where is you time going?