I am betting anyone with gold member status in this club is also a member of the “I Can Guess the Time Accurately Within Five Minutes Club” as well as the “I Don’t Like Crowds and Lines Club“. I’m horribly tortured by the notion of wasted time. I hear the clock as if it’s attached to a megaphone. It ticks louder for me than it does for some, like my husband, the perpetual latecomer, not to be confused with me, who strives to be on time but am still a late bloomer.
I’ve had an obsession with the time and the speed with which it travels for as long as I can remember. To me, watching the clock is the complete antithesis to watching water boil; whereas a watched teapot never boils, a watched clock goes even faster. When I was young and first saw the iconic Days of Our Lives intro, “Like sand through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives…,” it’s poignancy and blatant metaphor hit me in the face, confronting my mortality by the time I was nine years old, and began living my days trying to cram as much sand into my fists as I can.
This year, one of the ways I’ve tried to cope with my distaste of irrecoverable time has been to write about the daily frustrations I experience so at the very least I feel I have a pseudo-productive, documented souvenir of the experience, rather than time I can never recuperate. “At least I got a story out of it,” I’d think after I spent hours on the insurance company.
I have a hard time falling back to sleep once I’m awake (even if it’s two hours too early) because the clock is beating like a parade of marching soldiers and the never-ending lists in my head are calling out as if it’s roll call. My husband’s warm body tries to lure me in, but my drill sergeant subconscious says, “you’ll have plenty of time to sleep when you’re dead.” There is no peace in the eyelids once the brain is awake.
The clock keeps me grounded; it’s my metronome to remind me I’m alive, an echo of my heart.