Time to Change


November 1, 2020, 6:00 a.m. and I’m  in our small kitchen frozen in time in a room stuck in the mid-1980’s with its oak cabinets and brass hinges, limited counter space, drawers that stick, tile backsplash that might be kindly termed retro if it weren’t for the greyed grout that shouts “old”. Three clocks glow different digital shades of lime green, turquoise, and amber. The wall clock ticks – another 1980’s relic. It’s my favourite. I loved the ‘80’s.


Time to fall back and I resist. I think about not changing the clocks because what does it matter? We’re not going anywhere. No one is keeping tabs on our deliverables – we gave that up with work, thank god. Our deliverables now are time for coffee, time for breakfast, time to walk the dog. Frankly, the dog is as good a clock as we need. His whimpers and clicking toenails as he paces the wood floor urge us out of bed in the morning or demand feeding. His soulful stares at the front door tell us its walk time. What else do we need to know?

Lately I’ve become more like the dog anyway, tending to my bodily functions although both my spine and upbringing prevent me from gnawing on my feet or, you know, licking myself clean. Like our mutt, I stretch frequently – down-dogs, up-dogs, the cobra, the corpse – nap a bit, stare out the living room window. It’s a good life in which the clock is irrelevant, possibly even an irritant.

I watch the analog clock’s stiff, one-legged second hand click around in circles, a lurching Frankenstein, around and around and around going nowhere and noisy, to boot, in its lack of progress. Fake time. But then isn’t all time fake? Those coloured digital numbers are fake too. They might as well be purple or pink. Damn it, colour them any shade you like – it’s your time! But at least its silent though don’t be fooled: it’s a silent killer, like CO2.  

Ticked off time is my preference, like a list – there, that’s done. I like the sound of time like church bells, the birthday song, the town clock gonging Westminster chimes, or best of all, cuckoo time because that’s where I am, maybe where we all are.


I’m still in the kitchen, one hand on the microwave tinkering with numbers, coordinating time and deciding whether it should read the same as the analog but that’s impossible because the analog is the kind with only four numbers – 12, 3, 6, and 9 – and impossible to tell the exact time. Anyway, as soon as I set the microwave’s clock to 6:09, the stove clock changes to 6:10 and the clock radio to 6:13. I could keep working on concordance but that seems like wasting time, eh?

So, that’s where I am – contemplating timelessness and howling with the dog at the setting moon beaming through the window.


33 thoughts on “Time to Change

  1. Time is an illusion…lunchtime doubly so. I do the same thing with clocks. The lounge room clock is a minute and a half fast (it’s analogue) the clock radio in the bedroom is 3 minutes fast, and my watch is one minute fast. I hate being late and would rather be half an hour early and have to sit around and wait. But still…it’s better to be late than be The Late.
    I love your photos, Susanne, especially #3 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved this Susanne, an insightful meditation on time. I sometimes fantasise about going away to a cottage in the middle of nowhere and living only by the times of light and darkness, but alas, I’m beholden to ‘normal’ time for the moment…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Leave it to you to have a soulful response to the changing of the clocks … a process that often feels like a solemn medieval ceremony.

    I loved the phrase “don’t be fooled: it’s a silent killer”. Ain’t that the truth. As you’ve discovered, retirement means that we can now largely live our lives dismissive of the clock … and yes, afternoon naps are the best 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Look at those glorious colors! Beautiful.

    Hopefully the members’ bill to abolish DST that is before parliament will be passed. This could be the last time we need to worry about coordinating all of the clocks on our walls and appliances.

    Like you, we don’t need clocks. The cats keep good track of “treat time” and “run around like maniacs time” and “time to wake up, you lazy bums, time.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • The bonus hour is a bogus construct. As a retired person, I am living the bonus life right now, 24 hours a day and the only thing that will take it away is the day I die. Fingers crossed that’s none too soon since I finally feel like I just got started on life.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. Loved this one, Susanne – so “relatable” in many levels…especially the dog’s ability to keep time with his clicking toenails and whimpering. One of my dogs wakes me every morning to that same clock. I see falling back is going to be a real bummer.
    Your photos were gorgeous, too – O Canada.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh Ottawa! While not the most beautiful city in Canada (that award goes, in my opinion, to Victoria, Vancouver, or Quebec City), we do have our charms, especially in the fall. And that old devil time sure keeps us on our toes. One day this week I think I’ll try getting thru the day w/out checking the clock and live simply by the light of the day, how the old bones feel and what I want to do.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! Glad you commented on that line because I laughed when I wrote it. The photos are all local to Ottawa taken on my walks or kayaking with my husband. Its amazing what we see inside the city limits.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love your thoughts on time. It is an illusion and we all know it but keep time anyway. I hate the spring forward, fall back. My body takes weeks to get the swing of it. Waking at 2 a.m. this morning or is it 3? I struggle hoping to find a bit more sleep. Didn’t happen. By the time everyone else is awake, I’ve had a full day and a pot of coffee. I would love your view and a dog to walk. Don’t ask. ;( Your photos are stunning and so is retirement. But time…I never have enough of it. You post made me feel so well rested though. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This modern concept of time didn’t really get going until the industrial revolution and people began working off the farm in factories and the old “time is money” creed took over. By the time we reach retirement we’ve been so thoroughly indoctrinated that its hard to break out of that pattern even when it comes to sleep. I’ve discovered that without an alarm clock or the imperative to get to work by a certain time, that I don’t get as distressed about waking up in the wee hours. Sometimes I’ll get up and putter in the dark or read and then go back to bed. Or if I’m really tired in the day, I just take a nap for 20 minutes. I’m also adamant about not overscheduling myself and I absolutely give myself time to write above all else. I find when I’m creative, I lose the sense of time passing which is nothing short of a miracle!

      Liked by 3 people

      • I need to take your last paragraph more to heart. My naps tend to be a full hour. I’m going on 4.5 right now and have company coming. (Sis) I’ve written my morning pages and done many chores as well as a walk at daylight. No time table just always a too long to-do list. I create it myself so I need to find more balance. More time to write is becoming more essential. Thanks for your input. It’s appreciated.

        Liked by 1 person

"The river flows both ways." (Margaret Laurence)

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