Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Taking Off Your Watch

I've noticed lately that a number of people look at their cell phones to check the time. Although Kay and I finally upgraded to "smart phones" (and don't you hate it when your equipment is smarter than you?), I still wear and use a wrist watch. But that thought reminded me of something I used to do when I was still practicing medicine.

For three and a half decades, I rolled out of bed each morning, five or six days a week, to work. There was no hitting the snooze button, no ignoring the alarm. I needed to be "up and doing," as the poem says. But there were times when I could relax, sleep a little later, get out from under the weight that had been pressing on me. To signal this to my subconscious, when I went to bed I'd take off my watch. When I awoke and felt the pressure of that band on my wrist, I knew it was time to get out of bed and get to work. And if the watch was off...well, so was I.

That little practice seems so ridiculous now that I hate to mention it. But it brings up a point. Sometimes we just need to be able to relax, to put our responsibilities, our worries, our stresses behind us. We need to figuratively take off our watches.

What stresses do you need to get out from under? And what's your equivalent of taking off your watch? I'd like to know.

Photo via Flickr.com.

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