You can ask my husband and son, I am ANNOYINGLY punctual. Actually, punctual isn’t even accurate. I need to be early. To everything. I am that person who needs to arrive at the airport at least two hours early no matter the destination or what time the flight departs. Sometimes, this leaves us waiting at the airport forever for our delayed flight. (It also feeds my book addiction. I love airport bookstores. When I traveled for work, I could finish at least two books by the time I returned home.) I forget that other people don’t like sitting quietly doing nothing as much as I do.
Besides waking up in the morning, I don’t set alarms. Because I watch the clock – always. I know exactly how much time we have before we need to leave for school in the morning. I know exactly when we need to leave the house to make it to the orthodontist. More often than not, we’re so early that we hang out in the car listening to music or watching funny YouTube videos on my phone. Jimmy Fallon videos are our favorite. If I’m arriving just on time to anything, I feel anxious. I realize it’s an unreasonable expectation I set on myself and on my family. I need to chill, for sure. Clock watching is exhausting.
I’m writing this in a notebook at our cabin. I’ll type it up when we get home later. At our cabin, I’m not a clock watcher. I’m not even exactly sure what time it is now – probably around 10am. I don’t worry about time here. We get up whenever we want. We make coffee and breakfast; and then decide what we want to do. Yesterday, it was a game of cribbage, some cleaning up around the cabin and then over to a water hole in a nearby town for some swimming in the sunshine. We hung out there until we decided we were hungry. Today, my son has been reading for over an hour and I’ve been slowly packing up our things and writing this. We’ll head home sometime later. For now, I’m enjoying the loud quietness. I say it’s loud because I’m hearing all kinds of birds, crickets, a frog or two, an occasional “moo” from one of our neighboring farms, and the breeze rustling through the trees. But it’s quiet because there’s no traffic, no sirens, no horns, trains or planes. It’s relaxing. It clears my mind and soothes my soul. It’s like a reset button.
So – why do I need to be at the cabin to reset? I feel like I could, and should, find space and time to do it at home. I hear the birds in the morning when I wake up in my bedroom. And that damned chipmunk. Who knew something so small could be so loud?! But, I should appreciate the sounds of nature at my house in the city. I can appreciate the sounds, my flowers, the gardens, the trees, the lakefront close by, and all of the parks. We have a gazillion parks in Milwaukee.
I can leave the TV off and not constantly check my phone – which are both reminders of the time. Not only that, but they are TIME SUCKERS! Sucking my precious time away from being productive, creative, grateful and mindful. That’s my goal from now on. I will love all of my time equally. I will love my time at home (or wherever I happen to be) as much as I love my time at the cabin. I will not watch the clock. If that means I need to set a couple of reminder alarms, that’s what I’ll do in order to let myself enjoy each moment – without the anticipation of what I need to do next.
No more clock watching.