I didn’t own a watch two years ago… then I was given one as a gift. It has a gold face with a brown leather strap. It was a beautiful and thoughtful gift that I graciously accepted. Then it sat in its box for two months; it sat on my bedside table as I left for work every day.
When I started following The Minimalists, I began quantifying my possessions and that was when I decided that if I wasn’t going to wear the watch, I had to re-home it. But it was a gift, you can’t re-gift a gift, right? While I was halving my T-shirts and deciding which one of the three black jeans I would donate, I kept the watch.
I first wore it to a work function and bloody hell it was uncomfortable. It felt like a foreign object was wrapped around my wrist, constricting my entire body from my left arm. Why did I need a watch when my phone is a permanent extension of my hand? I persevered.
Whadda ya know? It didn’t take long to develop a watch tan. My wrist felt naked when I took it off at the end of the day. I would tun the car around if I left the house without it. It was so stylish! I could wear it to work with my beads from Mexico (name drop) or dress it up with my Mimco bracelet (there I go again).
But over time (pun intended), it seems my watch took over my life. It became my Achilles heel. When I was nervous I would play with it. When I was thinking about my next appointment I would look at its shiny face. I would watch the second hand go around and around as I planned the day. I became less productive and I overestimated the time I gave each task because I kept watching time go by.
In the time I could have written two further emails, I was having an internal debate. “I still need to have lunch, plan the show, go to the post office”. My focus had shifted, the watch lost its purpose. It was becoming the enemy.
Then I was told that my reliance on my watch had begun to impact on my workmates. They interpreted my pensive mood as rude. When I was in an appointment, my guest rushed through our meetings when they thought they were holding me up. I was glancing at my wrist… again. Over the last month my anxiety levels had risen. I had become more impatient with meetings blowing out and people running five minutes late.
So, I took off my watch.
That suffocating weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I’m no longer constricted by time. I set alarms to take my tablets and I set calendar reminders for my meetings. I’m already feeling more optimistic and productive, now stopping in the kitchen to talk about the weekend rather than race back to my desk.
So now the watch is only for special occasions. However, I still don’t have time for mundane conversations and people having a whinge. I may have a smile on my face, but I don’t have the patience behind it.
(Give Stampsy some love on the socials @StampsyKROCK on Facebook, @lee_stamps on Insta)
Stampsy is the Music Director and Drive Announcer at K Rock in Geelong