Don’t Be Alarmed …

I am a time freak.

Obsessed by the hours, minutes and seconds of my day, I am surrounded by the ever present notion that time is slipping away. And I am desperately grasping at those units of time with the same success as a giant Maine lobster trying to thread a needle.

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Not terribly successful.

But I’m not a total bust either, just realistic when looking at my chart of accomplishments and noting the upward trajectory is minute at best—no pun intended.

When I take a 360 glance about myself, I note the myriad gadgets that help me track my day and the plan I have for it.

Clocks are everywhere.

Tiny ones live on my desk, on my computer, on my shelves. Scheduled pop ups announce themselves on my smart phone and my tablet. My wrist ‘wearable’ vibrates every forty-five minutes with a tiny trumpeting announcement that the only things moving during the last three quarters of an hour have been my fingers and my eyes. Get up. Get going. Get active.

Too often, I feel my life is accompanied by a giant, ticking clock—a timekeeper so inescapable it is like trying to run from the wind, the unseen currents ubiquitous, uncontrollable and disorderly.

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My car has a clock that is always in a hurry. It runs several minutes fast, which consequently makes me feel late—and that of course adds to the general mental mindset malaise of never being able to keep up. Somehow the message surreptitiously sneaks into my brain that even if I am on time, I am late according to the beast of a manufacturing company I purchased this product from. Perhaps they have passed on their own unhealthy psychology to me, their consumer? The attitude that sounds—if you press your ear to the dashboard—like the desperate, drumming tattoo of, Churn them out. Churn them out. Churn them out.

I have a grandfather clock in the hallway which I long ago stopped setting. In the past, when waking to its hourly bong, I thought it absurd to be reminded that another sixty minutes had gone by since I last fell asleep—a good chunk of them spent attempting to fall back into slumber.

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I have three alarm clocks that are bedside companions. One is on an insta-glow setting, so that I’m never farther than one elevated eyelid away from knowing how many more precious moments of pretending to sleep I have before the other two audibly announce, “TIME’S UP!”

On the zootechnical front, I have two domesticated animals whose internal rhythms are so precisely tuned to their biological needs, there is no reason to own anything battery operated or electrically charged.

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And lastly, I find myself wholly annoyed with our planet’s main source of life—a star that, when visible, speedily tracks across my window pane and taunts me with the incessant reminder that the hours are slithering away, vanishing without a hint of anything to suggest they once existed apart from what lies behind and above the cursor on my screen. I long for cloudy days.

Of course, I am tied to the most vital of metronomes, the one which most of us ignore unless we are in an urgent state of health—either mental or physical.

The heart.

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I know it is there. Yet I’ve never seen proof. I feel its presence if I place my hand upon my chest, if I sprint after my hound, or if I come upon the faces of my children.

It stretches and nearly bursts with the swelling that takes place when discovering that my work mattered to someone, and it aches when it splinters after grasping the unrelenting unkindness in our world.

In my quiet moments of yoga practice, I am asked to find a stillness so deep and connected with the internal workings of my physical-ness that I can locate, feel, and hear my own heartbeat. That is a thin thread of ‘knowing’ available to all of us, but seldom sought and rarely found.

I am reminded to live in the present, to acknowledge each moment as prized, whether I am glowing with joy, or wrestling with pain. I am told to sit within time—not in the past, nor in the future.

I am a devotee of days, a maniac for minutes, and crazy with chronography.

I am a time freak.


Don’t forget to check out what we’re cookin’ in the Scullery and what we all talked about down in the pub. Plus, you can see more of Robin Gott‘s humor–all from the only pen carved from a human funny bone.

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128 thoughts on “Don’t Be Alarmed …

  1. Beautifully done. Used to be obsessed as you are. Then I stopped cold turkey. Don’t wear any of my pricey timepieces and refuse to watch the clock. It works. Unless I really have an appointment. My view is that time doesn’t really exist. It’s a fiction created to get things done and make us crazy. Thanks for the laughs.

    • It’s certainly a goal of mine–to be blissfully ignorant of all things official. Toss the clocks, trash the schedule, work at a pace that is run by bellies and heavy eyelids. One day. It’s gonna happen. I set my watch and warrant on it. 😛

  2. So funny, I don’t know when I’ll stop laughing. I’ve been to some of those mindsets – now I hardly ever have a clue what the time is, it seems utterly inconsistent, except in it’s trying to push me around all the time. I’m almost sure time doesn’t exist…

    • If you’re keen on physics, there’s an article at the bottom of my post which I nearly guarantee will warp your mind as it tries to wrap around the newest ideas of “time.” It’s a worthy bit of writing, but it might take a moment to digest. A good decade or two in my world.
      Really happy you liked the post. Cheers!

  3. Living in the here and now is difficult. We’re always so busy thinking about what we have yet to do. As a result, we tend to follow the clock. Do we ever not know what time it is? I wonder what would happen if we banished all time pieces. It would be quite liberating. Of course, I’d probably be late for everything…

    Wonderful post.

    • That’s the trickiest bit, isn’t it? The living in the present moment? I’m not terribly skilled with the practice, although I am effortful in my attempts. I think I find the most success–measured in mere fleeting and barely countable moments–when practicing a few minutes of meditation. The focusing on nothing more than the sound of air passing in and out of my lungs is a wonderful goal. I just need to continually boot out the grocery list and tally of overdue library books.
      Thanks, Carrie. 🙂

  4. I just read an article recently that time passes faster when you have less new experiences. Do new things to defeat time flying. I’ve got a bad issue, I feel time pass. I know when a set amount of time goes by. I can point at the microwave when it will ding from the living room. It sux.

    • Boy, do you have an accurate internal clock. You could do party tricks with that talent. What about waking up? No need for alarm clocks? That would be another bonus. Maybe the fact that you’re so attuned to nature, it’s had a sizeable effect on your biology.
      And I’d love to read that article. Sounds fascinating.

  5. Good read! I feel like I am always on a slippery slope when it comes to time. Trying to catch up to what I should be doing yet at times wondering why it matters! My car clock is a few minutes fast too yet I always feel late! Weird! But I do love sunny days, clouds depress me. Maybe it is the loss of knowing the time according to the sun that makes the clouds seem so ominous. Anyhoo, love the post. Your awesome

    • It’s a very good question to ask ourselves: why does it matter? I might have to make that my theme this week. And as far as slippery slopes go, I used to adore those as a kid. Didn’t we always search for something slick to slide down? When did that become an awful and ‘avoid at all costs’ kind of a thing? Maybe loosening our grip on life can ease some of the tension.
      Thanks a million for your lovely words. Daymaker. 😀

  6. I used to be this way…but, when my teenagers critiqued my parenting one too many times, I said, “Fine. Bring yourselves up the rest of the way. Lay hold of your lives. I’m done.”

    So, all those moments, minutes, hours and days that I used to track so intimately are now an endless blur. My only talk of time repeats this way, “What time is it? What day is it?”…and my most revealing, “What did you say your name was?”

    Keep your mind sharp. I’ve already lost mine. 😦

    • The endless blur. I think I can recall the days while growing up in a family of six where my mom would turn to one of us and ask, “Did I feed you today?” I don’t blame a brain for breaking down and saying I’ve had enough.
      I’ll do my best. Maybe throw in a few math’s times tables today just for the hell of it.

      • Ouch! You forced me to belly laugh before my first cup of morning brew. Harsh!

        Hold off on the math, please. That would be inordinately cruel.

        (You are too funny for MY good! Too much laughter and blood flow at my age could burst something and make a mess all over!)

  7. I felt slightly anxious when I finished reading this Shelley. I’ve stopped wearing my watch most days and haven’t needed an alarm to wake me up for years. It’s pure luxury, and you need to get some, if you can find the time. xx

    • I remember my grandmother telling me that a lady should never wear a watch purely so that she had an excuse to ask a good looking fellow for the time. Quite the Emily Post of her era. And I bet losing the time with a ‘tall, dark and handsome’ is a mighty nice way to shed some anxiety. 😛 xox

  8. I must admit to feeling a little freaked out myself right now….I am also hoping that giants never capture me and tie me to a giant ticking metronome. That would really suck. What doesn’t suck is the way you weave yourself into your writing and take us on a lovely dance, a slow self-reveal if you will. (A bit like a stripper doing the slow dance thing but not really….maybe not my best analogy.) Thanks Mrs P.

  9. I’m a bit of a time freak too. Chasing down the minutes I feel are escaping from me each day where I know if I can just get my work done, here will be more time in bed at the start of the day.
    Hope you’re well Shelley,
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

    • Boy, are you ever a prime example, David. I’m guessing it has something to do with the massive fan base you have, and their unrelenting demands for dialogue with you. And who can blame them? Your humor is magnetic. I keep coming back for seconds. xox

  10. My life used to be run by the clock, the calender, the lessons, weeks, terms and festivals of a schoolteacher’s life….later on a counselor’s client schedule ran my weeks. Then I retired and became free 🙂 In a pretty jewellery box tucked away in a drawer sit all four of my pretty watches. I don’t know if any of them are still quietly and invisibly ticking away – I haven’t worn any of them for at least a year. I have two clocks in my house, one in the kitchen and one in my work room. I look at them from time to time just to reassure myself that it is lunchtime, I am right to feel slightly peckish – or the cat is correct, it is time for his dinner….
    I no longer know what day it is without making a conscious effort to notice. Someone calls and says shall I pop in Tuesday? And I say ‘Sure, when is that?’ I have certain dates and times written on my white board in the kitchen – take puppy to groomer, 9.30 Friday. Pick up Sue airport 5 pm Mon…. the kinds of things that are best not forgotten.

    Time passes quickly and slowly. Depends if I am immersed in a painting [flashes by] or dawdling about the dog park clutching my plastic bag, waiting for Siddy to display the circling movement that indicates poop time [come on puppy, just do it!] My life behind me passed by in a flash – I still think 1997 was a couple of years back. They life ahead of me seems alarmingly short in comparison – yet will still contain many adventures and lots more time to discover more about myself and others and what makes us tick.

    I like being mostly time free, mostly free. I don’t know how I used to fit everything into a day that I did. But I do know I’m much more content now and very, very relaxed 🙂 Enjoy your time, it’s all you’ve got.

    • Pauline, you live a joyful life, both mindful and mindless–and I mean that in a way that the word is incapable of implying. You employ thought where it is needed and abandon yourself to soulful pursuits which display an enviable depth and breadth of creativity.
      I will enjoy my time–I’ve got some marvelous folks who are brilliant examples of what’s ahead and what’s to come if I follow the wisdom of my heart.

  11. Wow. Reading this post was like looking in a bizarre fun house mirror and seeing myself in a weirdly warped way. My car clock is 15 minutes fast, but it helps me relax to do the math somehow and figure I’m ahead of time. I have clocks everywhere too, which I mostly ignore. And I frequently awake before my 5:15 a.m. alarm clock. The time thing (which is really the mortality thing, n’est-ce pas?) is my eternal strife and struggle and I am no closer to figuring it out at the advanced age of 57. Except in those rare, present moments afforded by yoga, nature, and sometimes, writing. Great post! 🙂

    • The eternal strife. Great name for a book, don’t you think, Mel? And I think that struggle is a battle between will and wisdom. A fierce tug of war. I’m trying to employ the healthier theme of “Go with the resistance.” Although I’m not successful all the time, I do think that methodology is growing more familiar and comfortable with each day of mindful practice.
      And please–57 is NOT an advanced age. I can hear women across the globe gasping in horror at the thought of it. The fact that you’re still entering an amusement park’s Fun House is proof positive that you are the embodiment of youth. Carry on!

  12. Ah, this took me back to how I used to be!

    Time for me always seemed to be winning the race but many years ago my then partner and I went on holiday to South America and took the requisite boat trip up the Amazon – the journey was due to last five days and the first thing our guide did was to ask us to remove all time pieces as we were all meant to relax. We all did as we were told but the tension in the boat on the first day as we all missed our time indicators with a passion was incredible! But by the end of day two we had all, seemingly, forgotten that time existed and tension gave way to this most amazing aura of calm, which stayed with us for the rest of the trip.

    In the years that have followed I have tried to stay true to less reliance on time and its consequence of running away from me, with the exception of one thing – I am, and guess always will be, pathologically early for any appointment – but hey, you can’t have it all!

    Again, a great post Shelley.

    • Mel,

      I use to work in the waters of the West Indies on several cruise ships. I distinctly remember one of which a tour guide (who spoke seven languages), made our guests for two days do exactly the same as you experienced; remove your watch, phone, and forget time…relax and enjoy the now.

      Do less, accomplish more. Be in the now. Just be. If not, stay on the boat and hit the casino.

      Thank you for that wonderfully peaceful reminder of life.

      God bless,

      Stoshu 🙂

    • What is it about the flow of water that eventually irons out all our crispy ridges and renders us well-cooked noodles? Your trip sounds most amazing, and one I’d jump on board with in a heartbeat. Maybe I just let the kitchen tap run at a constant trickle today as a gentle reminder to let go. Maybe?
      Cheers, Mel!

  13. Hi Shelley,

    I would waste too much precious sleeping time waking to see what the time was. That ‘… one elevated eyelid away from knowing …’ drove me insane, up the wall and I threw the clock in the bedroom away (gave it away actually). It didn’t take long for me to trust my internal clock and start enjoying uninterrupted sleep – 7 or 8 hours of it – heaven.


    • Are you and Dean on any kind of an imposed travel schedule? Do you simply rise, look around and decided, “All right, let’s shove off for the next adventure on our route.”? Clare, one day, I have promised myself to attempt something like the two of you are doing right now. Talk about squeezing every last bit of juice out of life. I kinda want to be you when I grow up. 😛

      • Hi Shelley,

        We have two schedules at them moment. 1) we must be out of the caravan park by 10:00 am if we are moving on, and 2) we must be in Melbourne to catch the ferry to Tasmania on March 1. Every other day is just as you described. “Ho hum. What are we going to do today?” I can thoroughly recommend doing exactly what we’re doing. This lifestyle is great, I don’t miss my clock or the 5:00 am alarm at all. (I think I might have to write something about that 😊.)


  14. More excellent Sunday brain bending Shelley! I too am a time obsessive and incapable of achieving anything unless under pressure. The MITarticle is fascinating. I’ve long thought that it’s actually the present which doesn’t exist in any tangible way, say the word and it’s gone, only our myriad potential futures and our past experiences make any real sense. I reckon it’s elastic, like a giant balloon that we float inside, constantly touching the sides and stretching them outwards or pulling them inwards! Give me 5 days to do something and I’ll swear I only had 5 minutes, give me 5 minutes and I’ll cram 5 days worth of effort into them 😀 Great post and I adore that lobster 😀

    • So glad you read the article, Jane. Time is something I find near impossible to define and interpret when physicists get involved. There are concepts that I’m guessing were taught in school on a day I was home with the flu which are needed to grasp the complex enormity of space time continuum. As it is, each time I make an effort, I’m nervous I’m about to invite a small, but deadly aneurysm to take place. I love your example of a giant balloon though. I will chew on that for a while and see if it brings about any sharp pain.
      The lobster is my favorite this week too. I seriously nearly wet myself.

  15. Ah mon amour,

    Remember the first jump we took out of the brown station wagon at our new Northwoods abode and dashing to lie down under the massive white pine tree gazing wondrously up into the heavens? The pillow fluffed white clouds, the brilliant hue of the blue sky, the massive white pine tree tops gently swaying in the late morning’s breeze?

    Time stood still then, distinctly, if even only for a moment. I remember that directly as it was a change in our lives. Time was irrelevant, non existent. That time, that memory, will live in aeternitas.

    I love your writings, I am quite sure Thoreau and Whitman would consider the same.

    Keep writting and God bless,

    Stoshu P.

    • I DO remember that time. It felt like we were the ones to make that monumental decision of “where shall we now all live?”
      I think sometimes life has a way of shouting out, This is where you belong! And at the time, you and I just happened to be all ears.

  16. You are so right about the critters and their biological needs and their internal clocks. Except that my critters tend to run earlier and earlier…
    My problem is that I am time obsessed, but I don’t have enough timepieces. All my Timex watches have dead batteries, my phone constantly goes to sleep just when I need to check the time, and the clock in my car is an hour off because I don’t know how to re-set it for daylight savings. I just wait patiently until it is back in synch again.
    Yet I’m still terminally early to every appointment.

  17. I always used to keep my car clock 5 minutes fast to give me ‘breathing space’ for work. I used to cheat time and tell Hubby any appointments I had were half an hour earlier than they were.
    My alarm clock would always be fifteen minutes fast so that I didn’t panic if I slept through the alarm, which was also set earlier than I needed.
    One thing that always struck me as funny though was the presentation of a CLOCK when someone retired, when they weren’t answerable to a timetable and time was their own!

    • You’re so right. The irony of the gift surely wasn’t lost on the recipients. Although I suppose one could interpret it to mean that they’ve been given back the gift of time. Still, I’d sell that sucker on ebay before the sun cracked dawn on the first day of retirement.
      Is ‘boat time’ different for the three of you now? Have you noticed if water has had any tangible effect on the mellowing of your lives?

      • Boat time is really determined by our routine. Whereas in the house, Maggie would get us up around 2am practically every night, but apart from the one time she was ‘seasick’, we take her out for the final business between 9.30 and 10pm and she’s good until the following morning. In the early days here, Hubby would get up around 6 and take her out, but with the darker mornings, if I stay put in bed, so does she until about 8. Hubby has never had a problem with the rain lulling him to sleep, but actually being on the water has its advantages as we can be rocked gently to sleep, and the sound of ripples against the hull is really soothing. For me, I have no concerns about flooding drives, leaky doors or windows like I did in the house as we rise with the water.
        The pace of life is different, the people definitely are, and it is peaceful here.
        It does seem weird though if we have to set the alarm for an early start or appointment, but surprisingly, if we are both up early, the day seems to go faster! 🙂

        • A few years ago when I did a week on a houseboat down the Thames, I enjoyed so many aspects of it apart from one. At night, while moored, the waves would rock the boat against the rubber buoys and squeak. It kept me from falling asleep. I lived on a ship for over a year and remember having some of the most sound night’s sleep I can ever remember. I rather miss the sound of lapping water.

          • Ah yes! The squeak of the rubber against the pontoon vs the nibbling of duck bills against the hull as they scrounge their algae breakfast! Add to that the callings of the Egyptian ducks with a serious time miscalculation, Rooster duck with his identity crisis, and no doubt a lot more goings on when the duck mating season starts next month!
            There’s nothing really like it in city life is there? And you’re right about the sleep.

  18. Well as Andy Griffith would say “Now that’s a good un.”. So much to absorb and talk about yet so little time. Have you considered getting a time bandit. You know,a little scamp you can keep on retainer and use whenever a need arises. Like when your are actually running late or need just a little more Time to finish a project. Call upon your little friend and faster than one is to two, your little thief can steal a moment or two from someone less caring or unknowing. Or if being tethered to a little crook of dubious hygiene doesn’t float your boat then how about forging a pact with a Time Lord? I know Dr.Who always says he is the last one, but we all know that’s probably just a ploy to raise his own stock. If neither of these are your cup of thyme infused tea you might consider chanting,or running a song through your head. May I suggest a tune from Jesus Christ Super Star? Back when I was fighting my own battle against time I discovered the relaxing effect of the tune” Everything’s Alright’,particularly the refrain. “..try not to get worried try not to turn on to problems that upset you…”. It seemed to help me,at least for a while. For a while. I guess that pretty much sums up our dilemma with time. Everything is for a while but we always want more. So maybe our problem is not with time as it is with us. Well I have spent enough time with this, so like the finger,it’s time to move on.
    Thanks once again Shelly and Rob. If we could only find a Tardis.

    • Benson, you’ve nailed an idea I believe would solve myriad world problems. What person would pass up the opportunity to have a gadget that could act as a ‘spare time keeper?’ The idea of picking and choosing where to use those extra minutes is so appealing–like having a giant minutes roll over plan for your life instead of just for your phone. It’s brilliant!
      And good heavens, it’s been donkey’s years since I’ve seen that beautiful musical. I’m going to have to Youtube it. The music I tend to cling to if I’m in one of those dire states of worry and distress is Carlos Nakai. Somehow I become boneless after merely 60 seconds of his handiwork.
      Lastly, I’d happily welcome a Tardis into my home, but nearly took a wooden bat to the dreadful miniature Dalek that was given to my son when he was a tyke. Ugh, how I hated that thing!

      • Flute? Good call. Flutes. Navajo, crystal,vortex and Sedona Arizona. A wonderful combination.
        A roll over plan for life? Where do I sign up? I think I would have used a few in Sedona.

  19. Great post! I admit I’m always mindful of the clock and like Midwestern Plant Girl, always seem to know what time it is … ie the timer or alarm about to go off.
    I try not to let it burden me. When I do, it drives me crazy.
    My absolute favourite line is about the heart – “It stretches and nearly bursts with the swelling that takes place when discovering that my work mattered to someone, and it aches when it splinters after grasping the unrelenting unkindness in our world”. So beautifully … and accurately …expressed ❤

    • Thank you, Joanne. A million thanks for locating and loving my favorite line too. It amazes me that one organ can provide so much pain and countless pleasures, and in the end, be the one thing that controls our very existence to experience them both.
      Cheers to you! ❤

  20. I can relate to the noisy grandfather clock, since my parents have three chiming clocks: a grandfather plus two ship’s clocks that chime every half hour (yes, really). There’s another grandfather, too (all inherited from family members), but we’ve never been able to get it working right. What’s even better is that all the clocks are slightly off, so on the half hour you’ll hear two sets of chimes, one after the other, and every hour you’ll get three. It makes the first night back in their house an interesting one, to say the least!

    • What?? Oh, no way, Abby. I could not sleep in that house. How does anyone think with the continual clicking and ticking and chiming? I think I’d find myself sleeping out in the yard. There are times when I find I’m bothered by the tiny clicks of the kitchen clock I hear while I’m working. Occasionally, I have gotten up from my chair and put a dishcloth over the wall piece in the hopes that like a bird in a cage, I could fool it into thinking it’s nighttime and will settle it into silence.
      You poor thing.

      • Haha, I love the dishcloth trick. Surprisingly, you get used to the chiming after the first day or so, and as long as you’re sleeping on the second floor (away from all the clocks) it’s manageable.

  21. We are sisters, here! I get anxiety when the battery in the wall clock wanes and I’m late. I’ve noticed many people don’t seem to care if they are late–out here in AZ they are more relaxed about it. It’s an approximation.

    • The approximation of time. That reminds me of the book A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle. It would take some getting used to–the idea that everyone around me was unbothered by schedules. Your community must be incredibly forgiving of one another. I would need a lot of deep breathing exercises to cope. 😛

  22. The pre climbing mountains and sweating a lot Nancy was obsessed with schedules, timetables and checklists. Current state Nancy, having rejoined the corporate world 4 months ago, is starting to slide back into old ways. I wonder how much is influenced by my corporate demands and how much is the sad realization that as I grow older my time grows shorter.

    • Ooh, you make some profound points, Nancy. The world of business and commerce exists in a different realm of time awareness than those that lend benefit to our overall health. I’ve read about some corporations that are determined to aid their employees health and wellness factors, and are showing statistics with measurable success, but ultimately, it’s easy for us to become a slave to our work. Especially when we love what we do. Even at the expense of our well being. Definitely food for thought.

      • Mine is one of those companies, Shelley. Every morning I’m reminded to update my wellness page (a personal profile where I log health, fitness, and other wellness goals with actual activities). It’s definitely helping me stay much more aware when I start to slide into previous crazy mode.

  23. This was both thoughtful and extremely funny. Exactly the kind of reading I like. And the lobster trying to thread a needle bit had me literally laughing out loud. Thank you for this post, seriously.

  24. So much of that rang massive bells with me – although not the chiming grandfather clock bit, as the ceilings in our house are just too low in most places to have one. I do have several wind-up ticking clocks though and their vagaries in keeping time can be as irritating as their tick. One’s fast, one’s slow, one’s stopped and being repaired. 😦

    I usually wake up a minute or so before the alarm goes, but does that stop me from sleeping badly the night before I positively have to get up (and be alert) at some specific time? No, of course not – every few minutes it seems that I’m checking the time to make sure I haven’t somehow slept through the alarm. I wish I could stop it. Oh well. Maybe the answer is to not let any of the family book early morning departures?

    Robb’s pictures, as usual, capture it all so perfectly. The grandfather clock in particular reminded me of staying over at an Aunt & Uncle’s house – they collected clocks of all kinds, and they all seemed to make some noise or other!

    • One of these days, Laura, you and I will become blissfully unaware of the fact that clocks still exist on bedside tables. There will be no early morning meetings, we will rise only when we’ve had enough sleep. Or, as luck will likely have it, when we can no longer tolerate the pain of whatever is ailing us at this new stage in our lives. Chances are, there will be an overlapping of these two eras. Time will tell. No pun intended.

  25. I’m a time freak too. I really don’t like it either. It breaks my focus on what I’m doing. I’ll be typing away. I hesitate with my fingers to take a deep breath. Do I immediately start typing after that? Noooo. I look at the time in the lower right corner of my PC screen. Have I been writing long enough yet? Or do I have time to do just a little more? I hate time.

    • I cherish those moments, Glynis. The days when, undistracted by time, words flow, my mind is engaged, and I’m unaware of the fact that I missed lunch and quite possibly picking my son up from school. Well, that last bit I don’t cherish, but the effortless engagement is an exceptional feeling.

  26. I used to collect watches and now…..I just don’t. I don’t wear them. I don’t use them. I just decided to stop being so concerned with the time…’s actually a much less stressful lifestyle and funnily enough…..I’m still on time for things!

    • Ditching the stressful lifestyle is absolutely admirable. Living the stress-free lifestyle and still being on time for things will soon have reporters knocking on your door with a camera crew behind them and begging the question, “How are you doing this? Share your secrets!” 😛

  27. Shelley, I now have a new favourite post of yours. So hilarious and so true! Robin, the lobster picture was fabulously funny, and the animal clocks come a very close second. 🙂 I remember sleeping over at my grandmother’s house and getting annoyed by the bonging that kept waking me up. What could be the purpose?

    I feel I learned the most about time from my child when he was younger…why should we be hurrying when there are flowers to look at? What could be more important than observing that ant cross the sidewalk? I wish I could live in that state indefinitely, it’s so peaceful.

    • My sincerest thanks, Sue. A total daymaker of a comment!
      And how is it that we “educated” the curiosity right out of our children? I find as my teenagers are growing older, I keep repeating the same words, “Don’t be so quick to decide just yet. Keep exploring. Don’t shut those doors. You never know what you’ll discover if you just give something new a whirl.” I do believe we are still firmly in the stage of my voice sounding like the Charlie Brown teacher. Ah well.
      Cheers to you!

  28. Be not afraid for you are not alone. Along with the many other posts here I too am a slave to the clock in every form. There should be some sort of ‘anon’ for this type of addition. Thoughts on a name?

  29. yoove givenulated uh buncha thawt, directly, mebbe uthur wise, to the intricacies and interconnectedness of the time-space continuum.
    i sometimes consider the “direction” or path of time. of course reincarnation (i aspire to be reTRUCK-nated) could put us in lives that we’d now consider “the past.”

    • Hahaha! Retruckinated. I love it.
      And it doesn’t matter how much thought and energy I put into anything related to time-space continuum. I float along only in a state of “continuum” confusion.
      Did you read the first article at the bottom of the post? I’m thinking the lingo might be your language.

      • i just did. quite often i think i’m fooling (okay, i’m “phooling” — kind of like physhyng) myself when i think i sort of understand it. and i am pretty confident i’ve set the stage to MMMM bare ass mice elf by leaving a comment.
        however, thanks, but … it ain’t really my language — i couldn’t speak it past an introductory sentence or two.

  30. good times shelley! there’s an idea forming in my head that time is all about the sense of order, control, it provides. we can plan ahead, make it up, or reschedule it. anything and everything except truly relive or recapture being in the moment. alas it’s not and idea fully formed, maybe it’ll come to me in time.

    on a sorta separate note, i kinda feel our blogs are syncing up at least when it comes to lobsters. sadly i don’t have such great lobster artwork to go along with the post.

    • I do like the concept of the Groundhog Day effect–being able to relive moments until you get them precisely as you want. It’s like editing a story. The plot doesn’t get “lived” until you send it out there to be read.
      And nice post about the lobster lounge. I hope it gets some activity and lively participation. Cheers!

      • you know people say, ‘you’re the author of your own story,’ but no one ever gives advice about plotting. that’s slightly weird like giving driving advice without discussing the gas pedal.

        now i have images of slightly agitated/lively lobsters clamping claws with poor fiction writers backed into a corner with pot lids for shields.

  31. Nicely turned around… I so relate to the tick tock beat of your heart – it keeps me awake most nights – and in yoga, meditating on the peace within while the chaos surrounds you, seizing the moment, not looking into the future or the past… oddly juxtaposed is that I do not own a wrist watch, nor do I have any clocks in my house or car, and the ones at work I took down because I felt life ticking away while sat at this desk… we all deal with time in our own way I guess!

    • When first reading your comment I thought, “Oh, good heavens, I know my heartbeat is audible to me, but now I find out that it’s disturbing the sleep of others across the globe? I need to see a cardiologist.” But then of course, I reread it. Whew. It appears you are super tuned in to the flow of life and time, and that you’re taking action (or maximizing inaction) in order to find a way that suits your best method of functioning. I think we’ve much in common, Jojo, and it’s a pleasure to read your words.

  32. Oh yes! Lots of resonances for me here.
    Both me and the old fella are punctuality obsessives. If anything he’s worse than me, always getting to places ridiculously early.
    And oh, the timepieces. House is awash with them. We have one bonkers clock in the kitchen. It’s supposedly radio controlled to be accurate at all times, but it’s hyper sensitive and regularly resets to random times. Keeps us on our toes and we do have to keep checking whether we’re on UK time or kitchen time.

    And as for the passing of time, I’m increasingly aware of it the older I get. But like you I do my yoga and the mindfulness thing and try not to fret 🙂

    Time as a concept is something which fascinates me – all the fourth dimension/ Einstein’s theory stuff and the whole time travel thing – takes me into ‘head about to explode’ territory.

    Oh, and before I go – Rob’s lobster – I want one as a pet.

    Thanks for making me think and smile.

    • Anne! I’m loving the UK/kitchen time dilemma. God, that has me choking with laughter over all the potential humor built into it. That would make for a brilliant blog post.
      And yes, the whole head about to explode bit is familiar territory to me. I try to stay away from technical journals and scientific papers as bits of my brain begin to leak out my ears. Can’t have that.
      I want to squish that little lobster too.
      Love your comments, Anne. So enjoyable to read them as always. Cheers!

  33. My mother is a Time Freak – she has to know what time it is, well, all the time. It makes her crazy that the only one we have in the house is on the microwave. If it weren’t for my cell phone alarm to tell me when to wake up or a reminder of when to pick up the kids, I’d be lost, lost, lost. It wasn’t an intentional choice – we just somehow didn’t unpack any at this new house. Hum, maybe there’s something to analyze there… As always, this was a very enjoyable read.

    • It appears our moms have a bit in common. Although I’d classify my mother as a total time freak too, you will never, NEVER get an accurate account of the time with any of her clocks or devices. She has them set at unexplainable intervals all around the house, her car and her person. It drives me batty. But there’s a reason for all her time manipulation. Of course, no one but her is privy to the reason. I’ve chosen to laugh about it. You walk into her house and you’ve fallen down a rabbit hole.
      And I wonder how I’d fare if I had no clocks for a day. I may be willing to give it a go.
      Many thanks for your lovely compliment. Great to read your words. Cheers!

      • Mine sets hers fast in only a few locations in the house. She likes to keep the adrenaline pumping. As a teenager when I was getting ready for a date she’d run in the room saying, “It’s seven! It’s seven!” which would make my blood pump through my body, it was in fact only 6:45 and she was just messing with me. I’ll probably do the same crazy stuff to my kids. Have to take joy and giggles where we can find them, right?

  34. Finally – I have time to read this entertaining slice of day.

    And despite working from home and having deadlines, I’ve declared to the children on this ice day home from school there shall be:

    No meals; only grazing
    No time; only now
    Sleep when you’re sleepy, eat when you’re hungry, pee … well, other stuff too.

  35. I am from a family of people who are perpetually late, and it made me something of a time freak, as well.

    I was late for work once, but my boss didn’t even write me up. I was so panicked when I walked in the door that he decided I had punished myself enough, all on my own. 😛

    These days I am not so conscientious of the time… or the days, really. I think it comes from having to live in “two” time zones, in order to know when my family is awake and sleep, and then when I need to get to work. My iPad is actually permanently stuck on PST, and I have no idea how to fix it (and now it’s grown on me, haha.)

  36. After reading this, most of my contemplative time was spent wondering why a Maine lobster would need to thread a needle. I haven’t come up with any viable answers, but it was time well spent. Thank you.

  37. Time? I have a wrist watch but rarely wear it. No cell phone as I believe only important (really important) people need to be instantly contacted ……. and I’m not that important. The car clock comes in handy when time is a factor but, as I always use the “estimating golden rule” (applies to everything from construction to traveling to project planning) – “Make an educated calculation of time…. and then double it”, I am always early. Perhaps even have time to spend with a coffee! My life is not time driven but, unfortunately, so many other aspects of our world are. I may go and collect our mail after 3:30pm today…..or leave it until tomorrow morning …… or collect both days’ mail tomorrow evening…… or not! I have a delivery coming after 9:00pm this evening so I will be here after 9:00pm… perhaps earlier. I really have no time for time. I have successfully mastered time so well that I have progressed to days! What day is it today? Is it the weekend yet? It is 2015 ………… right?

    • You have no time for time. That is so meta.
      I think I’m going to make it one of my 2015 goals, to so well and truly lose track of time that I am blissfully unaware of what day it is. Definitely a goal.
      Cheers, Colin!

  38. Time can be such a bully. I think I’m managing IT but IT is managing ME! Clever devil! That’s why I love the rare days when I can march to my own inner time piece, which apportions out the moments in a seemingly unending fashion. Lovely post.

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