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When Time is Dead…

August 30, 2010

As a few of you know, I am on vacation with my family. We’re sailing on our new yacht in the British Virgin Islands [], a favourite spot in the world for us.

Bareboat Charter

Time Stands Still On A Sailing Charter

A funny thing happened near the beginning of the vacation – both my sports watch and my wife’s sports watch died pretty close to the same time. A sign… perhaps we shouldn’t be as focussed on time while we’re down here. So far, it hasn’t really changed things a lot except that I am realizing how much I use time to regulate my day and to plan out what I need to be doing. So, who knows what I’ll learn from this… but, I guarantee that I will learn something.

Okay, It’s the end of the vacation and I’m going to finish off this post by saying that not having some structure has good. But, having 3 kids requires you to have at least a little bit of structure. Having said that we’ve not missed a flight yet. But, I’ve also not been convinced that I knew what day it was everyday.

So, the learning point? There are many but truly nothing sticks out for me. Maybe just having been forced into a change was the best thing. Who knows?

Why don’t you share with me your thoughts? Many people don’t wear watches, although now younger people just use their phones or other electronic devices. What do you use to tell time? Sun dial? Calendar? Atomic clock? What’s happened when it’s died?

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Comments (10)

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  1. I use “my gut” to tell time, both literally and figuratively. It never fails. And sometimes by body clock is way different than the one on the wall!

    • mindscape says:

      Hey Marion,

      I will sometimes fall asleep without an alarm and just rely on my “gut” to wake me up and it’s amazing how accurate it can be.

      Thanks for responding.


  2. Nancy Rattle says:

    Hi folks …. does time stand still in the eye of the hurricane? Looking forward to hearing more about your adventures!
    love, never-wear-a-watch Nancy

    • mindscape says:

      Hee Hee…

      The folks that were preparing the boats certainly were hoping that time stood still while they prepared for Earl.

      We did make it out on the last flight out of the area. The boat, of course, was left behind and seems to have sustained on some scratches that we hope are cosmetic.

      I’m amazing at how many people don’t wear a watch. It’s great to hear!


  3. Lianne Stefurak says:

    I believe it is a good experience for us all to be less shackled by time.

    Being a nurse and born of time concious parents I wore a watch every day from age 9 to age 35. I didn’t take it off to shower, sleep, eat or anything. I always had to know what time it was. In 2008 – after 20 years together and 8 years of marriage, my husband at the time separated and for a while time stood still. We all move forward in life though and in due time it started again and I began to think of my future. And funny thing – it didn’t involve a watch.

    I had learned and reflected during my separation and realized that knowing the time is a good thing, but being ruled by time is not. I wasn’t living as much in the now – because I was thinking too much about the what’s next. And I learned that you can still be on time for work, movies, and family events by seeking out the time when needed (blackberries, car clocks, computers etc) and yet have the freedom to not know the rest of the time. And it was wonderful.

    I had the value of letting go of time driven home to me again when I was at a friends cottage a couple weeks ago. We came back from a great Saturday afternoon outside and she looks at her watch and says “Wow – its 6:30, we better make dinner!”. I said “Are you hungry?”, she said “not yet really – but it’s dinner time”. How does this make sense?

    So ladies and gentlemen. I will issue a challenge – go a weekend with no watch, and see how much more time you have.


    • mindscape says:

      Great Challenge Lianne!

      So any takers? Will anyone go without a watch.

      What I found without a watch wasn’t so much that I was a slave to time but I was impressed with how often I wanted to check for the time. Now some of that is driven by a need to provide some structure for my kids… meal times, bed time, etc. But, we did roll with the rhythm of the day.

      So, a great challenge. Certainly I had to go with the challenge over the holiday and still to some extent. Who else will try?

  4. I haven’t worn a watch in about 35+ years….. my reasoning at that time was that other people wear watches and if I want to know the time, I’ll ask someone.

    And now, with cellphones, knowing the time is pretty easy without cluttering up my wrist.

    Ask a German if they’re hungry and they will automatically look at their watch rather than feel if they’re hungry or not.

    Hope you’re enjoying the family holiday, sounds idyllic!

    • mindscape says:

      Hey Patti,

      Thanks for commenting. It is amazing how many places you can find the time. And, it’s a great conversation starter as well. When we were away, I had to ask others a number of times what time it was (silly little things like catching planes). And, it meant that we had a number of great connections with people.

      We had an amazing time with amazing pictures, sailing, etc. The shot above is a picture of the boat moored at sunset next to an island near Sir Richard Branson’s Neckar Island. It was idyllic, although we were bitten by sand fleas even after having used protection. 🙂

      Cheers, Paul

  5. Tim Ross says:

    I do not wear a watch and have done that for some time now. I do use my cell phone to stay on track and lots of clocks around. I do not use an alarm to wake up, my body just knows when it’s time to get up and I get a sense of how much time something will take. If I feel I need to know, most people have a watch so I can just ask. Seems to work for me.

    • mindscape says:

      Hey Tim,

      Interesting. Especially the waking up part. I have found the same thing. I will wake up almost on time when I have to wake up. Even if I set an alarm, I will often be awake just before it goes off.

      Time, the one thing common to everyone!