Has the coronavirus changed your daily life? If you are like me, it has changed the way I manage my life by the clock. As a senior move manger my pre-pandemic days were spend working with clients to get their household inventory downsized, then organized and packed for relocation, usually to a retirement community. For me managing my life by the clock changed one fine day in March 2020. Now, 6 weeks later, I wake up wondering what day of the week it is.
What would life look like if we lost all external time clues? In 1962 a French geologist, Michel Siffre, descended into a cave more than 400 feet below ground intending to stay there for two months. He left his watch and all other indicators of time behind. He wanted to live beyond time.
He soon discovered that without cues such as natural light or his watch (this was before cell phones which were invented in 1973) that he lost track of days and even weeks. When he was contacted by his team and told that time was up, he disagreed believing he still had a month to go in the cave.
We have not descended into a cave nor are we without our cell phones but the world is grinding to a halt and we are losing the meaning of time. Who knows what time it is right now without looking at “the clock” or what day of the week it is?
Today is Tuesday, or is it Wednesday. I saw a tweet recently from Stephen Colbert: “The last two weeks have been a strange ten years.” One cable news channel launched a segment called “What Day Is It?” I feel like Colbert. I’m taking in so much new information that a couple of weeks of breaking news alerts makes a couple of weeks feel incredibly long.
Could today be Someday? My husband declared one morning that today is Someday! He could be right; my brain is sensing that something strange is happening to my sense of time. Pre-coronavirus my days were rooted in productivity: it’s 9 a.m. now and I have to meet a client at 10. Without this structure my days now just pass. It is no longer an alarm at 7, breakfast at 8, scheduled appointments starting at 9.
Some loosening of the bondage of the clock is welcome. More flexibility in our schedules could be a good thing. Abandoning all time structures could lead to ice cream all day, every day, and that would have dire consequences.
Be blessed and stay safe.