duck-shaped pain

29 April 2001
No Tickee, No Tockee

Today is my Day Without Clocks. I'm trying to go an entire day without looking at a clock or trying to tink too hard about what time it is, and it's going okay so far.

I resorted to such a thing because I have a tendency to get sort of stressed out on weekends by what time it is. I always think to myself, okay, today I'm going to just sit around in my pajamas and read or write or do some other such thing and it never happens, at least not for more than an hour or so. It usually begins when I wake up -- always later than I'd planned on, even though I know damn well that left to its own devices, my body always sleeps for exactly eight hours. So, if, for example, I stay up until 2:30 a.m. drinking wine and watching Belle De Jour, [1] I'm going to automatically wake up at 10:30, if unimpeded by alarm clocks, neighbors mowing or loud dogs. So I always expect to get up earlier like magic somehow, and it never happens.

Which is when I start to think that I'm somehow wasting my day. I start out promisingly enough: drink coffee, read some, sit around a bit, and then I look at the clock and start to get sort of panicky. Crap, it's noon already and if I want to go get something to eat or go drink coffee somewhere else or whatever, I'd better get a move on. This is regardless of whether I originally wanted to go any of these places in the first place, but the feeling of Missing Out Somehow (as if any of these places change from week to week) overrides any other thoughts I might be having at the time.

So I usually end up leaving the house and going out, sometimes to the library, sometimes for coffee, often (more often than I'd like to admit) to Sam's or the mall. Am I ever happy about this? No, not really. Then I feel even more guilty about wasting the weekend, which leads me to try and salvage it somehow by going out for a big meal or something like that, and the vicious cycle goes on and on.

(Which is strange -- I never placed such an emphasis on The Weekend before, but that was when I wasn't so wrapped up in work as I am now.)

So today, having nothing urgent to do or any real place to be, I decided to just ignore the clock. I turned some around, covered up others with tape or strategically-placed scarves. The one on the computer is hidden with a lot of post-it notes. I think I managed to find and deal with them all. This is not permanent -- itís just an experiment for one day, to see if it helps me relax more.

So far, it's working out well. It's sometime in the afternoon, and I'm still in my pajamas. I managed to drink a full pot of coffee, not succumbing to the It's 2 P.M. And What The Hell Am I Doing Still Drinking Coffee thing. Soon I'll be hungry (usually, but not always, I go by the clock in determining times to eat) and I'll chow on the leftover Chinese food from last night. Maybe then I'll hang out outside for awhile (or not, seeing as how the People Who Wash Their Car Everyday are out in full force next door, complete with ten+ shrieking children, barking dogs, and their new and very loud backyard water fountain/waterfall/birdbath object). Maybe I'll just stay in and read. Maybe I'll make mustard-green and sausage risotto later, like I'm thinking about. Maybe not. Who knows.

[1] Just for example, you know.

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