Is Time Real?

I stopped wearing a watch more than a decade ago. I was in my office, deep in some project or other when I suddenly glanced up to see what time it was. Without having to do a Linda Blair kind of head turn, I was able to see three clocks plus there was one on the phone on my hip and one on my wrist. I haven’t worn a watch since that day. A strange thing happened after that. And no, that’s not when I started arriving late at most meetings. The strange thing was that removing my watch sort of freed me from the time continuum. I’ve since read that time is just a construct of man. Too deep for right now.

It does, however, seem to bother people that I’ve been freed from the continuum. My wife, for instance, likes to sleep in on the weekends. I am an always early riser, so I’ve usually been up for quite a while when she arises. Every Saturday and Sunday morning, her first question to me after we say good morning is, “What time did you get up?” My answer is always exactly the same phrase: “I don’t know what time it was when I got up.” Yet, she continues to ask each weekend and seems to still be annoyed with the answer. She’s not alone though. I usually don’t mark my daily routine with a clock (which explains some of my difficulty in getting to meetings on time). When people ask me what time something happened, I often respond that I don’t know. That answer always seems to annoy the questioner. I don’t know another way to respond, other than lying. When I try to do that with something vague like a while ago, they press for something more specific. When I try to be more specific but still vague, like a couple of hours ago, they want to debate whether that is an accurate estimate. I can’t carry my share of that debate because the truth is I have no idea but they won’t accept that answer without getting upset.

In the end, we’ll all discover that time really isn’t as important as we make it out to be. I’m just heading in that direction faster than most of you.


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