I don’t wear a watch. And I was thinking in the wee hours of this morning it may be how I became a morning person.
It occurred to me that by not checking the time, I go to bed when I am tired, rather than when I think I should go to bed. In the past, when I did wear a watch, bed time was at a more or less set time each night. Which was also quite late, compared to these days.
Growing up, our house, like most, had routine times. Up for school at this time. Bus came at that time. Lunch was eaten at this time. Got to go home at that time. Play outside until dinner time. Bed time was set and increased by 30 minute increments each birthday until I reached my parents bed time. And through out, it was read under the bed covers by flash light time. So there was a hard time waking up in the morning consequently from staying up too late.
I am not certain when I stopped wearing a watch. I think it was not long after meeting Pumpjack. He owns a watch, but treats it like jewellery, e.g. he wears it only when the mood strikes, not because he wishes to tell the time. An interesting concept.
And then there is the luck of not being gainfully employed by anyone. My time is my own. And that is the game changer. What with gardening, various projects and duck nibbles, a watch did get in the way sometimes. And slowly, over time, it was worn less and less.
In these days of mobile phones as well, we seem to refer to their screens more often than our wrists when we wish to know the time. My phone as camera is generally with me, (the better to capture duck moments), and I like that it is not a specific reminder of time passing. Rather it is a reference point in the progress of the day.
Initially, not wearing it felt very, very strange. It had been so much a part of me. I had not realised how much. And with that comes the recognition of how much time was dictating my day, rather than me determining my day.
With giving up on wearing time, there was a sense of being freer. And it’s a heady freedom. Days are now dictated by the daylight, dawn and dusk, and darkness. And ducks (of course). The ducks are very routine orientated. Their need to be up at dawn (or just before) and to bed at dusk (or just when you can’t almost see) is synchronised with optimum worm hunting times.
In between is food and things to do. Food is dictated by hunger. We no longer eat at a set time. Sometimes Mr P and I do not eat together during the day, depending on what we are immersed in, but also depending on who is hungry, or not. Dinner time is based on hunger or dusk, and/or, depending on the season (otherwise one finds oneself in summer eating at 11pm, which for a morning person is very difficult.)
And bed time now comes when I get tired. Daylight does play a part in this. We do go to bed earlier in winter, less so in summer. But there is no alarm to wake us up. So we sleep what we need. Or not. Some times there is that 2, 3, 4am wakefulness. And if so, I just read (love my kindle!), play sudoko, trawl duck pictures on instagram, or simply get up and get on with the day rather than rail at being awake. Most likely I will sleep longer the next night.
And the wee hours of the morning are such a lovely quiet time. A time when much of the immediate world (including our menagerie) sleeps. A chance to think, contemplate, write (vignettes), work… and by dawn, and ducks, there is still the rest of the day ~ and all that time ~ stretching ahead…
I present a dare, if you wear a watch. Give up wearing it for one week. You are not giving up telling time by your bedside alarm clock, or your phone screen, the time stamp on your computer or the clock on the office wall. Just your watch. See if it makes a difference to you. I would be interested to know the results.