Last year I read a great history in a book called Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time by Dava Sobel. A short read on a big topic. It's about how John Harrison in creating an accurate clock to use on ships (to calculate longitude) and eventually won the Space Race / X prize of the 18th Century. And that got me thinking about our relationship to time.
Prior to the industrial society time was cyclical, naturally based. We rose with the sun, slept with the sunset. On a long trip to India I recall my friends telling me, "Meet you at the fishermen's nets at sundown". I only wore a watch to make sure I caught my flights or trains...
Now our days are run by alarms, reminders and schedules. We optimize time, manage how we use it, we try to "find time" in a hectic schedule, sometimes we need to kill time - or heaven forfend - we waste time. And those devices made better by Harrison (clocks) disrupt our sleep and wellness (look at the definition for alarm!)
So what to do?
This year I have tried to wake without an alarm, which is surprisingly easy - if you have a regular sleeping pattern. Those days are very different.
This week, between Christmas and New Year you probably have a week to do just that... wake up without an alarm. Try it and let me know how it goes?
What is your relationship to time and what if you shifted it?