“Does anyone really know what time it is?  Does anyone really care?”

Does Anyone Really Know What Time It Is?  Chicago (the band)

I was on vacation in Jamaica last week, and what a week it was.  Palm trees, turquoise water, sand beaches, rum punch, and not a clock to be found.  And the one in our room didn’t keep any time that we recognized.  I guess that is a true sign of a vacation spot, but it made me crazy–at first.

I wear a watch all the time.  I need to know what time it is.  I am always weighing in on how much time I have until…I have to get up, I have to go to work, my next work meeting, to the end of the work day, etc.  But being in Jamaica with no idea of what time it was frustrating until I just let go.  What freedom!

Without knowing the time you have to tune in to your body for hunger cues.  It is only time to eat when you are hungry, not because it is “breakfast time” or “dinner time”.  It took a few days to get used to it, and we started to fall into a kind of group thing as we saw people leaving for lunch, we figured we needed to.  But then we weren’t hungry for dinner, something our resort was known for.  So by the last day we didn’t even eat lunch, and thoroughly enjoyed our dinner.

You tend to watch the movement of the sun to give you clues too.  Where the sun was positioned in the sky and where the shadows fell became our clock.  We knew when our pool came into shade it was likely 3-4 pm.  It was like a throw back to ancient times where you relied on nature to be your guide.  I always appreciate the beauty of nature, and there is plenty of it in Jamaica, but now I had another reason to love it.

No alarms meant you got up when you weren’t tired anymore, and it tended to be earlier than we thought.  Of course we wanted to spend as much time outside when it was sunny as possible, so it was to our benefit to get up early.  When we were tired, we went to bed.  It could be 9pm or 11pm, we had no idea.  Even the clock in our room was messed up so we had no choice!  Friends at the resort said the same thing about their clock–Jamaica’s way of helping you disconnect I guess.

Without time you lose track of the days, and you just enjoy each one for what it is.  My husband asked if I thought the week went by fast, and I said no.  It seemed the perfect amount of time, probably because there was no time.  We weren’t counting down the days until we had to leave, we were just enjoying each day for what it brought.  Each day was just as it was supposed to be.  Perfect.

Is this possible in my non-vacation life?  During the week I would have to say no–too many responsibilities and commitments.  But what about the weekend?  What if I covered all the clocks in my house and left my watch on my dresser?  I may need to conduct an experiment and see if I get that vacation feeling right here in Cincinnati.

How tied to schedules and time are you?  Can’t live without your watch or phone?  It may be time for a vacation, and I highly recommend Jamaica.  But if you can’t do that, maybe try living without a clock for a day–heck, maybe even a half day.  I think you will be amazed with what you discover about yourself and your surroundings.  Ya mon!

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