I have not worn a watch regularly since shortly after my first child was born. My watch kept scratching my new born baby's tender little head. I was spending most of my time at home, where I could look at a clock when need be. Without specific appointments filling my life, it made sense to take off the watch. By the time my babies were grown beyond resting their precious little heads in the crook of my arm, my watch battery was dead. I tried to get it replaced and found out replacing a watch battery is not nearly as easy as it use to be (another symptom of our "disposable" culture, why replace a battery when you could just get a new watch?). I never got around to fixing my watch.
Yet even without my watch constantly reminding me what time it is, I still find it difficult not to live by the clock. Sure, I am no longer acutely aware of what the numbers on the clock read, yet I grow impatient "wasting" time on recreational activities. I feel a pressing need to get things done. I feel lazy if I sleep past seven. As a stay at home mom I feel like I have to fill my hours with work to justify not going and getting a "real job". Not that this means I actually get mountains of work done daily. I just feel guilty about it when I don't.
Summer is a precious gift in regards to time. During the summer, in our family, no one has a schedule beyond the schedule of the land. The growing of the crops and the weeds, the rain that falls or doesn't, the length of day light, these are the things that set our schedules during the summer. This morning, it took me a while to figure out what day of the week it is. It just doesn't matter during the summer. Sure I have to look on the calendar occasionally so that we can make it to t-ball and 4-H meetings. If I ignored the clock when it comes to meal time, dinner would be ready at 10 a.m. when my tummy is usually rumbling and hubby would come in for dinner two hours later. So, I am not entirely free of time constraints. But the basic rhythms of our lives are dictated by something greater than the ticking of the clock. It can be disorienting but for the most part I love the freedom to simply do what needs to be done when there is time to do it. Some days we work ourselves ragged with long hours of daylight and much to be done. Some days it is too wet or the crops aren't ready and we take time to teach the girls how to throw a basketball.
I am a big fan of comp time. That is the way that nature works. There are busy harvest times and restful rainy days. I am so grateful that our lifestyle allows for some comp times, though we should make more of an effort to enjoy them rather than finding a rainy day project to do. Your job may not allow comp time but perhaps you can find comp time at home. When you have had long hours of work, let go of the house cleaning. If you spend Saturday morning cleaning, spend Saturday afternoon doing something fun and relaxing. Let go of busyness. Enjoy a little summer comp time for yourself. After all, it's only natural.