May 24, 2016

Off The Clock

What time is it? Almost sunset.

I enjoy being off the clock. I find the relentless division of my moments into hours, minutes, seconds and microseconds to be arbitrary and over-rated. Not to mention a killer of the unfettered life where things happen when they happen, and not a moment before. Or after.

Our time obsession is too linear for me. Every micro-moment is measured and packaged, and it is only ever going in one unimaginative direction. It is too all-encompassing and limiting, this tyranny of the tick tock.

While we count our seconds, the years recede in the review mirror with increasing rapidity. Where did the time go? I wasn't paying attention. I was busy. I forgot.

My dislike of this relentless manipulation of time is also physical. Wrist watches cause my skin to burn due to a sensitivity to nickel, which is used in watch backs. I have therefore never worn a watch longer than a short while, before my epidermis rises up in temporal tingling.

I am also psychically allergic to calendars, day timers, and alarm clocks. I'm not big on schedules, either.

In our culture we perseverate on the past while simultaneously racing into the future. But the present is when things are happening. We lose a lot by being too busy to notice. A lesson can be learned from other cultures, such as a traditional tribe in the Amazon rain forest that has no concept of time at all. For them everything is all right now.

The take away? Enjoy the moment. Now. And now. And now...

"For fast acting relief, try slowing down."

- Lily Tomlin


  1. Hi Gregg,

    funny I was just discussing this with my girlfriend today. I was telling her about the Greek island of Ikaria where rushing is basically forbidden, parties can and do go all night and people regularly take naps. If you invite friends for lunch they may arrive at 11 or they may arrive at 2 - and no one gets upset about it! You always have time for your friends and time for your grandmother. All food is slow food and usually grows just outside your door. We are thinking about how we can emulate this life without rushing. Working less will no doubt be part of the equation for us - if you sell too many life hours for money it just isn't possible.

    Thanks for continuing to share your thoughts :-)


    1. We have discussed the beauty of Ikaria together in previous comments. Thank you for the reminder. I love your description of life there. Obviously I was born into the wrong culture.

      People don't realize that you purchase things not with money, but with hours of your life.

    2. Ah, now you've reminded me of one of my simple living conversion experiences. It was when I read Your Money Or Your Life and realised that I was indeed exchanging my life hours for stuff. It was one of the most life changing reads for me.


  2. Anonymous5/25/2016

    Just recently I was reading an article about imagining what it would be like on Earth if human beings had never come into existence. There would be no sense of time, just what IS in the moment. What a great thing to ponder! No hours, days, months or years, just NOW.

    I've never worn a watch because I stop them and have no alarm clock. Life without time constraints is glorious!

    1. It is so nice to experience moments when life flows naturally, unimpeded by self-imposed limits.

      That sounds like a great article. Do you have a reference for it?


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