I think I’m getting old. A few weeks after ditching digital filing and to-do lists and returning to paper, I’m now going back to the Stone Age with a clock that has a face, three hands, and an audible ticker.
After years of relying on my computer’s digital clock to keep track of time, I finally realized that I had lost all sense of time’s passing. I couldn’t figure out where all the time was going each day. Hour would merge into hour, morning into afternoon into evening. Where is my time going? I’d sit down to work at 6am and a few minutes later it was 6pm. What happened there? The hours had passed, but how? and where did they go? 10am seemed the same as 1pm and 4pm.
I looked around my study and my eye landed on an old clock I’d been meaning to throw out. One of these ancient round things with numbers round the perimeter and three different arms anchored to the center. I’m going to try that, I thought. So, out with the screwdriver and rawlplugs, and up it went just above my screen, and always in the line of sight.
A tick-tock clock
As soon as it started ticking, my life changed. I had a new, deep, and profound sense of the passing of time. Every tick was unique and unrepeatable. The tocks marched onwards unstoppably and irreversibly.
And instead of a few pixels and 4mm high digits that barely changed in appearance throughout the day I now have a very visible foot-high reminder that time is passing. 10.05 looks very different to 10.25, the sweeping arms visualizing and emphasizing the sweeping tides of time. Internet activity can now be measured in inches as well as minutes.
These new sights and sounds demand accountability and productivity. They are my way of more sincerely praying, “So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Ps. 90:12).