Halting the Hands of Time…

This weekend’s time change (1 hour back) made me realize how abstract the concept of Time really is…

The sun would continue to rise and set and the stars and moon would still shine even if the designation of 6:00am or 9:00pm didn’t exist…

I’m no historian, but I bet the Ancients didn’t rely on their watches to meet a friend for coffee or to take in a movie. Instead, they just used their body’s circadian rhythms.  They would simply let daylight and darkness guide them through their day.

Daylight = wake up and do something.

Darkness = stop doing that something and relax.

The sun and earth’s rotation played a more important role than any Rolex.

The notion of hours, minutes and seconds is just a way of organizing ourselves to be doing something on time, in time, at the same time…

But what if we erased the concept of calculated time and instead followed our circadian rhythms, just like our ancient aunts and uncles did?

There’d be no timecards to punch…no agendas or appointments…no train or bus schedules to follow.   Life would just flow according to how our bodies felt and what nature told us to do.

So I was wondering what my life would look like, without any designation of time.

Here would be the anthropologist’s report:


Italian-American, New York female.  Partakes in rituals including salsa dancing and Doritos. Has an affinity towards iPhones and other shiny objects.


  • The Subject of Analysis lies in bed. Sees sun beaming through bedroom window. Rolls over and puts pillow over head. The Subject falls back to sleep.
  • Stomach growling wakes the Subject. Must be in need of sustenance. The Subject is not sure if it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner but decides to eat Belgian waffles anyway.
  • Probably should have chosen a ham sandwich instead.
  • With no recognition of time, the Subject misses her favorite TV show, “Dancing With The Stars” and fails to find out who will advance to the next round. The Subject is emotionally crushed.
  • The Subject receives a parking ticket for forgetting to feed the meter.
  • The Subject calls her mother just to chat but unknowingly wakes her up out of a deep sleep in the middle of the night. The Subject’s Italian mother fears the worst and suspects apocalyptic news from her daughter on the other end of the phone.
  • After buying a Mega Millions lottery ticket, the Subject misses watching the scheduled drawing on TV and will never know that she’s the lone $130 million winner. Will continue to eat ramen noodles instead of caviar.
  • Not following the directions, the Subject leaves hair dye on head for too long.  Looks like the Subject will be wearing a hat for the next couple of weeks.
  • Having met a cute guy in line at the bagel store recently, the Subject doesn’t realize she’s missed their first date for dinner.  Mr. Right has just run off with the waitress instead.
  • Hoping to create the perfect recipe for chocolate chip cookies, the Subject fails to set the oven timer.  Cookies resemble hockey pucks. 


After resigning herself to the fact that the measure of Time is indeed important, the Subject retires back to bed and sets her alarm for 7:00am.   The Subject has a dream that Mr. Right returns with a winning lottery ticket and a bag of hot bagels in hand.






  1. Good stuff Lia, and I love the anthropologist’s report. I’ve always had an interest in time and its impact on societies. A case in point is the concept that the “arrow of time” only goes one way. Why is that? And as I read your ideas about life without clocks, it reminded me of a post that I wrote about the early days of clocks and timekeeping. This is shameless promotion, but I thought you might find it interesting. Check it out:



    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi James! I’m glad you enjoyed my anthropologist’s report and that we share in the same curiosity about time and clocks…
      Your post was spot on and I’m glad you pointed me in its direction: )
      Cheers and happy long weekend!


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