I joined a weekly writing group on Flickr and this is one of my entries.
I decided to write today about something in my life that defines me. I know, you're thinking I'm going to write about my camera and how I have defined my world view with the images that have sprung forth from its many pixels. While the camera has been an essential part of my life, it isn't what defines me.
Time defines me. I don't know when it began. I have always been addicted to the clock, watching each second tick. I was once given a watch as a gift with the following sentiment attached. "If you think of me every time you look at your watch, I'll be on your mind all day." It was a running joke in my younger days. I would always know the time. Why did I feel compelled to constantly watch the clock? Maybe it was that first watch I was given as a child or maybe it was counting off the minutes on the old percolator for Mom. I couldn't even enjoy a movie without keeping an eye on the time. Life was literally ticking by while I was preoccupied with watching the infernal clock. I couldn't even tell you why, it was a compulsion.
As those minutes became years, I read countless books on how to find the ultimate fulfillment all the while, keeping track of each second. I read about being in the moment but how could I be in the moment? I was still watching the clock. My focus was always split between what I was doing and keeping one eye always on the clock. While I know it's important to keep appointments and know the time, I'm talking about something more. I am always prompt, usually early. Even now, that is not a problem. I remained convinced the answer somehow could be handed to me in a book, as if by reading somebody else's journey, I would arrive at the same place, no work involved, just reading (and watching the clock).
It has taken years. At some point, I realized the moments in my life that I felt most connected and at peace with both myself and the universe, were those moments where I let go of the time. Yes, it was that simple. Those moments I forgot to check the watch. Those moments that swept me up in their moment. Those moments weren't always grand adventures. Plenty of those moments were spent watching the clock. Nope, it was as simple as taking a walk and really walking. The camera did aid me in some of those moments but it could still be a crutch to keep me from truly being in the moment. The camera can become a shield to hide behind.
As I continue my battle with Time. I made a decision to take off the watch. I no longer wear a watch, ever. Those who know me well could attest to the strangeness of this behavior. I felt undressed as if the universe were suddenly watching me. Maybe it was, to see if somehow, I would become unbalanced and take a spectacular fall. I didn't fall. Our bodies have an inner time clock that when in sync with the universe, keeps us balanced. I eat when I'm hungry, I sleep when I'm tired and drink when I'm thirsty and not because some clock, ticking away, told me it was time. *
Six months later, I no longer look at my wrist for the time. That's not to say I'm perfect. My cell phone is perfectly capable of keeping time for me. But I have committed myself to being more in the moment instead of outside, watching as it moves along to the next moment. My self discovery is mine. Your mileage will no doubt vary. I didn't take any grand adventures eating my way across a country but it is my little path around the neighborhood and the confines of my mind.
*The author wishes to confess to eating when she's not hungry but because that piece of chocolate beckoned her. She also doesn't sleep when she's tired, although she would like to. Perhaps it's the copious amounts of caffeine she consumes during the course of a day making her nights long.
*Now playing: Sit and Wonder by The Verve - Forth