Decades ago I used to live in Sydney. Now I live on a farm in NW rural NSW, Australia. It’s an 9 hour or so drive to Sydney from home in Coolatai. I drove down to Sydney last week for a few days.
Going back to Sydney I was reminded of the years I lived in Sydney. I remember getting up every morning to the alarm, shovelling breakfast down if I had time, getting dressed in uncomfortable business clothes and squashy shoes, rushing down to the ferry – panicking all the time that I would miss the ferry – watching my watch the whole time – every 3 minutes – every second urgent. I would get to Circular Quay right next to the CBD of Sydney where the ferries dock then, glancing constantly at my watch as if it would make me faster, I would rush under the tall skyscrapers, jay walking to be faster, watching time instead of my surrounding or people (they were just blockages to me moving forward quickly – not personalities or friends or people with feelings…… mere objects). Rushing, rushing, rushing…….
When I lived, worked and studied in Sydney I remember watching my watch, constantly. Life seemed to consist of watching deadlines come and go throughout the day. Each small or large deadline passing was replaced by a new deadline to watch – get up time, 5 minutes until I have to leave time, need to leave time, REALLY time to leave time, no time to clean up time, fly out the door time, adrenaline time, hope I haven’t forgotten anything time, rush to ferry or train or bus time, missed it annoyed time, caught it lucky time, heart beating fast time, get to work on time time, am I a good little employee time, performance time, am I doing the right thing time, rush time, coffee time, adrenaline time, am I complying time, am I on the right career path time, fill in the screen time, review time, seeing partner time, adrenaline rush time, going down the lift time, lunch time, catch a kiss with boyfriend time, rush time, back to work time, concrete jungle time, manoeuvre to the front of crossing street pack time, coffee time, paper time, phone time, computer time, tall poppy time, home time, home time, home time, when will it really be home time, expectation to do free overtime time, resentment time, when will it truly be home time instead of wishing home time, escape time, collapse time – nope – study time, assignment due time, calorie time (no time for slow food or real food time), read legislation and standards and boring time, back of eyelids time, exhausted time…….. always watching time. This was my Sydney time nearly 30 years ago. I’m glad my time has changed.
My time changing was influenced by my watch band breaking on the way to work about 12 years ago. I decided not to repair my watch. I’ve never worn a watch since. I don’t carry my mobile phone much. My phone doesn’t work at Coolatai. Now at home I look at the angle of the sun and judge how much daylight I still have before the sun goes down. Clock time doesn’t have so much relevance in my daily living unless I have an appointment time to honour – then I try to keep it strictly so as to respect the people who I am meeting’s time.
My day now consists of waking before dawn without an alarm because my body is rested. I usually stay in bed reading or blogging or deciding between other getting up choices. I listen to the birds as they all get up in order. I know what time it is from which birds I can hear.
The sun streams into my bedroom as it rises above the horizon. My room is bathed in the warm light taking over from orange glow of my Himalyan salt lamp which I set to come on at 6am. Time has a different definition for me now. It doesn’t have the same urgency – emergencies yes, but urgency no! Time is something which passes and I live it as it happens. This doesn’t mean I don’t get things done!
Sometimes I have a plan of things I need or want to do. Mostly the day unfolds – unplanned – without time, directed by priorities. I still get lots done. In summer I like getting up at 5am or before when the temperature is perfect, work outside until about 10am and then hibernate inside from the heat of the day and then go back out at 4pm or so until it is too dark to see. I love working hard – physically hard – but the drive comes from within, from a desire to achieve a certain goal and not because of a deadline or because of time. I like this change in my life.
I enjoyed visiting Sydney and catching up with lots of friends. I enjoyed the hubbub and gluten free vegetarian eating out options.
But I was so glad to leave and camp the night at Bretti Reserve near Gloucester before heading back to the bush and a more natural alarm clock!