We are captives of time

I am always amazed at how dependent I have become on clocks.
As I type this column, the clock is on. When I save this column, the time will be noted with the document. Any modifications that I make also will be noted with a time and date stamp.
The computer always is checking out the Greenwich clock and making the adjustment for our time zone. It even knows when daylight savings time begins and ends, and makes those adjustments.
I have a program that runs in the background on my computer all the time. I put in appointments and meetings with appropriate notification times. And when those appointments are coming up, it flashes in front of me to remind me of the meeting.
Sometimes I forget to put the notification up and miss those meetings.
Yes, I am dependent on the machine to remember.
In our kitchen, we have five clocks. Ones on the microwave, the oven, the coffee maker, and the radio, and a fifth on the wall, keep reminding us of the hour. In that room, it is hard to lose track of time.
On Monday, there was a momentary loss of power in the neighborhood, of which I was reminded going to bed. The clock was flashing midnight.
The battery that normally keeps track of the time must have died sometime over the summer and I had to reset the clock.
It was not a big chore. However, I did forget to reset the alarm and the radio bounced on at the stroke of midnight. Even then, I didn’t reset the alarm. And that resulted in my worrying that I would sleep in.
We have our internal body clocks that tell us when to wake up or when we should be heading for bed. But if we have something important happening, our minds may not let us trust alarms to wake us up and instead we will spend a restless night worrying that we will miss the alarm.
And through the balance of the night, my mind worried.
I should have come to and set the alarm, but I chose not to. And I wakened at four, at five, and again at six—only to check the clock and let myself know that I had two hours, then one hour of remaining sleep.
At six I turned the radio on and listened to the CBC news.
So early yesterday morning, I began thinking about how dependent we are on clocks. We watch the time to arrive at work on schedule. Students mark the time in class—counting down the minutes until the class is over and their social lives can resume in full.
Only the very young seem oblivious to time. What a wonderful state they exist in.

Posted in Uncategorized