keeping time

Being self employed brings with it some odd consequences. For example, I never know what day it is, or what time. I stopped wearing a watch years ago, and we don’t even have a calendar on the wall anymore. I do keep track of appointments on the computer, but that’s very limited interaction. I make a note of the appointment, and the program reminds me one week before, one day before, one hour before.

Time has become fluid in a way I never imagined. The other day I dated a check 1976. Really. I realized as soon as I wrote the ‘six’ that I was WAY off, and then I stood there for a moment trying to figure out what the heck my brain was doing. Was something going on in 1976 that my subconscious wants me to remember? I spent that entire year in Austria and rarely even read a newspaper. The local radio station reported primarily on what the legislature was up to. Their own legislature, of course. In some ways I was in a time bubble, completely removed from the worries of the day outside that mountain valley.

No such excuse at this point and I do, at times, have to reach for the year. It’s true that I’m perpetually distracted, but not knowing the year straight off — that’s more like early onset you-know-what. Which does not run in the family, not on either side. Now, memory problems are one symptom of what my mother’s generation called “the change of life” — but these days the supplements that would fix memory issues are also linked to higher rates of breast cancer. So: no. Unless it gets really bad, and I can’t remember the Girlchild’s date of birth.

A slightly related matter: If I could wave a wand and change something about the internet, here it is: Would you PLEASE put the date in an obvious, easy to read place on your posts — AND INCLUDE THE YEAR. I often go searching for information on a product, and I can’t count the number of times that a review that looked promising turned out to be five years old. Or had no date at all, but the only way to know that was to search inch by inch over the whole post. Not including the date is like leaving a sign on a shop door that says be back in fifteen minutes.

The only way this makes sense is if you know when the person left. Ten minutes ago? Ten days ago? We need to be anchored in time. If I had the energy I’d start a GIMME THE BLASTED DATE movement.

4 Replies to “keeping time”

  1. Before I started working I was a stay at home mom and I found the same thing happened to me all the time. The way I kept track of the date was getting the newspaper every day, it also helped me keep in touch with the outside world.

  2. It’s funny how we all have our own perspective. I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for nearly 23 years and it’s always been me who had to keep up with everyone’s appointments and events – if I didn’t, then they didn’t get done/attended — so I tend to know what day/time it is all the time. In fact, when I worked — before I had children — date and time seemed less important. Now, that my last child will be driving in a few months, I may be able to let go of that a bit when she can get places on her own steam. However, I’m now entering my “second mommy phase” — my mother is elderly and I’m having to go with her almost everywhere she goes, including doctor’s appointments — so I’m still having to keep up with everybody’s else’s business.

  3. But then I’d have to recycle the newspaper, one more thing to forget.

    Lynn — ah, middle age. It’s full of stops and starts.

  4. When I was a stay at home mom my oldest wasnt even in school yet so I didnt have a lot of appts and other stuff like that to deal with. That may be part of the reason I had a hard time.

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