For a few nights, I was timeless.
I gave my watch away. The new one hadn’t arrived yet. My phone, which doubles as my alarm, was across the room. When I woke in the night, not knowing if it was the quiet dark of 11:30pm or 4:15am, I shambled to the bathroom feeling uncomfortable. Did I have four more hours to sleep? Only 50 minutes?
Without my watch, I realized time is order and order is comfort. Like a housing developer, it boxes life into manageable units. How we fill it, like how we fill our house, is used as a barometer of our worth.
When my alarm rang off, I stopped being timeless and started being timed again. In the steamy comfort of the shower, I saw the time glow off my phone. Get moving, I told myself. Don’t be slow and sloppy because this warmth feels so nice.
And I thought how time is order, and order is comfort and constraint. Like habit is stabilizing and limiting.
Time is a good servant, bad master, just as order and habit are good, in moderation. We can be a slave to the minute, cramming, jamming, slamming so much into our moments and worrying we don’t have enough time, while also worrying about getting older, which is nothing but more time being gifted to us. All of it feels like an act of violence towards time.
My new watch has arrived. With it, I understood that time is order; it is a way of ordering our lives. It is not so much what we fill our time with, but how we use the life we have that is worth our consideration.
I don’t want to treat my time or my life as something to be stuffed, the way I stuff too many shirts into a small overnight bag wishing it were bigger. I want to see my time and my life as something to care for.
Which is, perhaps, one way to live a timeless life.
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