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For as long as I can remember, I have been obsessed with time. I always thought it was some genetic thing. We have this picture of my dad when we used to take those traditional pack-the-kids-into-the-station-wagon-and-drive vacations. We are at the Grand Canyon and in the image with one of the most scenic landscapes in North America behind him, my dad is looking down at his watch.
I can’t remember when I started wearing a watch on a regular basis, but I became addicted to having it, like a chain, on my wrist. I was the official time-keeper and of course, never late. It took it’s toll on my life, even though I didn’t recognize the damage until just recently. In college, I severed a relationship with a guy because he was perpetually late.
It became worse with all of the running. I used my watch as my alarm clock and put it on first-thing in the morning before getting out of bed. I had to time how much lingering I could do over my cup of tea in the morning before I hit the road for a morning run. And of course, I used my watch on my runs and workouts, having to know how long and at what pace over what distance I had run. Obsessed.
About 6 months ago, my battery for my trusty Timex died. Instead of replacing the battery, as the watchband had faded significantly (probably due to the amount of sweat it saw on a weekly basis) and was starting to tear, I ordered a new watch. I was between watches. Uh-oh.
I began using my phone for my alarm and going for my runs sans watch. Like an addict, I was in a mountain of fear and dread. This was not an easy wait. Over the course of several days, anxiety eased and it became easier. I stopped relying on knowing what time it was. I started making meetings on time or even late.
At first I was apologetic. And I started to wonder why, because I suddenly felt a freedom that I had not felt for years. After a mere week or so, I was liberated to the point that I could not go back.
My new watch I had ordered, thanks to trusty Amazon, arrived. I struggled briefly with moving on or going back to knowing all of the time exactly what time it is, who is late, who is early, who is on time. I chose to move on. I choose to not know.