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Take a Vacation from the Clock

imsis020-017As you read this, I am getting ready for my eagerly-awaited vacation. Tomorrow I’m heading to the NC mountains for my annual summer getaway with my dogs. My boys and I are excited about cooler weather and some fabulous hiking. Most of all, I’m looking forward to a temporary reprieve from the clock.

My life is dictated by schedules and appointments. When I’m not keeping appointments or trying (usually in vain) not to end my classes more than 10 minutes late, I’m rushing to catch the ferry to my island home. So much of my stress comes from time pressure, that it’s a huge relief not to be glued to my watch for a few days.

Several years ago, on a beach vacation with friends (who are as Type A as I am), I innocently suggested that we put our watches away for the weekend. My friends were appalled. “How will we know when it’s time to eat?” they asked me indignantly. Umm, when we’re hungry? “How will we know when it’s time to go to bed?” Umm, when we’re tired? Finally the group agreed to take a big risk, and we had a “ceremonial removing of the watches.” What a relief! We listened to our bodies, slowed down, and had a very relaxing break.

While I’m away this week, I will enjoy waking up naturally (no alarm clock!), hiking when it’s cool enough (not when it’s “time to go”), eating when I’m hungry, and going to bed when I’m tired. How refreshing that will be …. If you too are ruled by the clock, I challenge you to take a short break from it. Take off your watch and avoid the clock on your phone, computer, and TV. The world won’t grind to a halt ….

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