How late is it?



I wore my first watch with pride. I walked around with my head held high and my sleeves were always pulled up, so everybody could see the beautiful watch with the shining, red band that I had gotten for my birthday.

I was in first grade and we had just started to learn to read the clock. Hours and minutes -shown by the little hand and the big hand- that part wasn’t too hard and I did understand the hours from 1 to 12, but didn’t understand the times after that. It still showed a “1”, so why was it called 13 o’clock.

A quarter till, or a quarter after, was too complicated for my little brain and so was “half past.” What did that even mean? I didn’t understand that 13:45 meant a quarter till 2 pm in the afternoon. None of the other kids seem to have a problem with it, but I just didn’t get it.

It was obvious… I would never be able to tell time.

I still wore my watch proudly, but didn’t rely on it; my watch was decoration only. Growing up on a farm taught me to know what time it was right from the start. We got up with the chickens -literally, the rooster made sure of it- and my stomach told me when it was lunch or dinner time. We looked at the sun, when we were working in the fields and in school I could hear the church bells and they agreed with me, they only counted to twelve; there was no 13, 14 or even a 24.

I somehow always knew how late it was; the sun and an inner instinct guided me like a compass. I knew when I was supposed to be home, because my curfew was sun-down and that was easy enough to understand.

Then I got older and I was able to read the time, like everybody else. My watch was not longer just decoration and today we have a clock in every room.

Kitchen appliances show me the right time from every angle. There is the coffee maker, the microwave, the oven and of course a kitchen clock -like we really need one.

Living room, Bedrooms and even in the bathroom, there is a clock hanging or standing somewhere, reminding us to hurry up.

Interesting enough, I don’t think I ever lost touch with my inner clock. I wake up minutes before the alarm clock tortures me with its annoying ring tone and I wake up on time, when my husband forgot to set his alarm.

Menopause changed my sleep pattern. Now I wake up in the middle of the night and I often lie there for an hour, before I can go back to sleep. One night I woke up and I tried to guess what time it was. I was laying there with my eyes closed and guessed the time. I opened my eyes and I was surprised…I was spot on. The next time it happened I guessed again and sure enough, I was only a few minutes off.

It is very interesting how much we know just by listening to our instincts and our inner feelings, instead of relying on something that thinks for us.

It made me curious and I took my watch off for good. It felt odd at first, my wrist felt and looked naked, but then I got used ot it and worked all day long and let my feelings guide me.

It was a fascinating experience. I still had my calendar and all my appointments written down and I didn’t miss one. I stopped a few minutes before it was time to go and I was never wrong. My stomach still tells me when its lunch time and the dog seem to have an inner clock as well. They get restless when it’s feeding time, funny enough…so do I.

I am still wearing my watch today, but it’s good to know that I don’t need it.



11 thoughts on “How late is it?

  1. I also wake up without an alarm everyday at 5:30. When my sleep patterns changed as I got older I read somewhere you should never sleep with the clock facing you- if you wake up do not look at the time as it will then train you to wake up at that time during the night every night. I tried it and it seemed to hold true- I was able to go back to sleep and after a week or so I seemed to be sleeping more through the night 🙂

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  2. I still remember my first watch, it was my late grandfather’s, inscribed on the back for presentation to him. Used to wear it everywhere till a school trip to the Western Heights Napoleonic fortifications outside Dover. I disappeared down a hole in the ground and the watch stopped, never to work again. I still miss it!

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  3. I wear my watch only when out and about, indoors it’s not needed at all. I go to bed when I fall asleep and get up when I wake, I eat when hungry and wash up at night before settling down to read blogs or work on my computer. I’m never sure of the exact time but that doesn’t matter as time is relative. Monday to Friday days are taken up with work and the commute, I get the bus and that turns up when it does due to road works and traffic. I still have to be at the stop early as the bus won’t wait for me should it arrive ahead of schedule. This isn’t the problem I thought it would be as I enjoy spending the money I make. It’s not as enjoyable as it used to be since I changed from one support role (for a hospital at the other end of the country) to another and now have to work from the office, no more working from home. This means I now have to use sick time when too ill to travel. Still not long to go until I retire then I will be able to please myself how I fill my days.


  4. With reminders of the time everywhere around me, and a cellphone in my purse when I’m out, I certainly don’t need a watch anymore, but I’ve always thought of a watch as a “wardrobe accessory” so I’m rarely without one 🙂
    I discovered I’m equally comfortable wearing my watch on either wrist, but then again, it might just be my love of wearing jewellry 🙂

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  5. I swear I’m perceptually impaired to time. 5 hours; 5 minutes: what’s the difference?

    Got my first watch–a silver-tone Seiko–as a First Communion gift. My dad put it on my left wrist. (He was a right-handed.)

    I liked it, but I’m a (natural) lefty-with-a-pen-only and do pretty much everything else right-handed. The watch interfered with handwriting b/c my arm couldn’t like flat on the desk unless I took the watch off. (Then, being forgetful, I was always nervous about forgetting to put it back on.) As a righty, the watch never felt comfortable on my right wrist, probably b/c I’d always worn it on my left.

    So…I gave up watches sometime in my 20’s or 30’s. Who needs one now with cell phones, devices, car clocks, cable converters, alarm clocks and–oh yes, wall clocks?


  6. I would be lost without my phone telling me what time it is. Even in the middle of the night if I wake for any reason I have to press the button and see what time it is. Usually to see how much longer I have to sleep until it’s time to get up and scurry about. 💌Trista

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