Why is time measured?

We know the practical reasons. We know the business reasons. But when the internal clock is beating and we are in tune with our own rhythms one can simply decide to move beyond these reasons. Living in Mexico is teaching me that artificial syncopation is a construct of business and fine-tuned relationships.

I am learning that time need not be regulated precisely. I am learning that to do so is simply an exercise in futility. However, this learning experience is taking its toll. In my 65th year, I have been regulated to such a degree that I have no real clue of my own internal clock. So, beginning with the experience of waking up, I am doing without the alarm clock. I wake when I wake. It is a singularly weird feeling. The first experience is leaving the anticipation of “getting up” behind. When I retire at night it is because I am sleepy, not because I need to calculate how many hours of sleep I need before the alarm rings. This eliminates the anxiety inducing fear of not getting to sleep in time to get a decent number of hours before the alarm interrupts my sleep cycle. The irony of this: I am getting more sleep with less stress than when I had an alarm set. I also wake up earlier and more rested.

I hope this new reliance on my own body clock leads to a new view of time as measured by the culture here in Mexico. So far it has not. I am as frustrated as ever with waiting around for people to show up at an appointed time; to come back from a work break when they say they will; rescheduling appointments at the last minute–often after I have left for the appointment. My first instinct is to say to myself “there is no respect for my time.” However, I am learning that this is a false and arrogant construct. I am learning that Mexicans have a broader view of the day that is not measured in minutes but segments of time for activities. And since they (I realize I am making big generalizations) seem to not be very good at judging the time it will take to do something, it is a self-fulling exercise in lateness.

Should I worry about this? Is it arrogant of me to project my own cadences on others? Am I saying to myself that my time is more important than their time? Have I forgotten that I am in their land as a guest? Time for me to know time better; not letting time define me or shape my day. Time for me to cozy up to time knowing that its divisions are both an artificial and natural construct. By shifting to the natural rhythms, I suspect I will be more forgiving and much less frustrated. And this, of course, could liberate the subliminal restraints on my subconsciousness and enable me to produce better art.

Question of the day: What time is reflected in your eye?

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