I don’t wear a watch when…,

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When I retired at the beginning of 2007, I stopped wearing my wristwatch.

I didn’t put it back on until I took a short term contract job in February of this year.Β  At the end of the contract, I again stopped wearing the watch.

I guess, in a way, it’s a symbolic gesture.

I’m no longer tied quite so tightly to the clock, to a routine.

If I need to know what time it is, there’s a clock on my cell phone, in my camera, on the dash of my car, truck, and motorhome, on the back wall of my motorhome, on the TV, computer, microwave — you get the drift.

I don’t need the watch for me to be able to keep track of time.

Not wearing it is pretty much symbolic of a little more freedom.


Is there something you do or don’t do that is symbolic of something?

retirement, work

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Cath Lawson Oct 2, 2008

    Hi Mike – for me it would have to be the cellphone. I used to be tied to the cellphone and my bills were huge as all my staff had them too. And I used to divert my office phone to my cellphone after hours and answered it 24/7. Basically – it was symbolic of a hectic period in my life.

    Now I barely use one. I got a cheap pay as you go one and try not to give out the number. It rarely rings – it's wonderful. And I'm never going to have a business where I'm tied to the phone again.

  • DragonLady Oct 2, 2008

    I turn off my cellphone when I'm not using it (and remember to turn it off – lol). I'll keep it on if I'm not at work or at home and the kids are in school so the school can always contact me, but for the most part, I turn it off. I hate talking on the phone anyway. πŸ˜‰

    My husband quit wearing a watch, too.

  • teeni Oct 2, 2008

    Yeah I guess there is. I roll over, shut the alarm clock off, but DON'T get out of bed right away. I just take my meds, with the alarm clock and then continue sleeping for a while. I love my bed. πŸ™‚

  • rummuser Oct 2, 2008

    I sold my car last year and have been without one since then. I have no problems whatsoever as, it was just standing around most of the time anyway. I use the local version of taxis whenever I have to go out long distance or walk inside our colony for any shopping etc. I have become healthier and more active. All my friends think that I am nuts. What do you think?

  • rummuser,
    My husband and I didn't own a car for the first four years of our marriage. The first year was spent in France, so we used public transportation and walked. The next three we lived a half mile from our work and walked. I agree with you that it's healthy.

    I agree with you…I love my bed. I do my initial drafts of my posts lying in bed in the morning. I had insomnia for years and really appreciate getting enough sleep and rest.

    Cathe and DragonLady,
    I don't own a cell phone and don't feel the need of one.

    I don't own a watch. I do have a pedometer on my waist which has the time if I need it. Mostly I try to schedule my life so I don't have to pay too much attention to the time. To me "sacred space" is when I'm immersed in what I'm doing, oblivious to time and to my own ego.

  • Vered - MomGrind Oct 2, 2008

    I did the same when I became a stay at home mom, when my second child was born.

    I now work from home, and I still don't wear a watch. When I have to attend a meeting, I use my cell phone as a watch.

  • Friar Oct 2, 2008

    When I'm on vacation, I still wear a watch.

    But only because it helps me wake up earlier, so I can get more time to go fishing or skiing, and not waste the morning sleeping.

    I refuse to own a cell phone. I used to have one of a previous job where I often had to be "on-call". Work-related phone-calls ruined so many evenings and weekends, that it permanently cured me from ever wanting to own a cell phone again.

    (Though my 16-year old niece thinks that's lame beyond belief).

  • Mike Goad Oct 2, 2008

    @ Cath – My cell phone has never gotten much usage. We got the family plan for our phones so that it would be easier to contact each other. It's especially useful when we go shopping together and get separated whether that intentional or not. Other than family the only people that have my cell phone number are (1)my former boss who was also the contract manager for my recent contract job, (2) the contract company that was actually my employer, (3) my financial adviser, and (4) a couple of friends. I don't get many calls and I don't use the cell phone much, even though I carry it for convenience.

    @ Dragonlady – I hate talking on the phone, too. For instance, I'll drive into town to make an appointment at the dentists rather than call them.

    @ teeni – I don't use the alarm clock when I'm not working. My alarm is sitting in the bathroom. We keep it there so we'll have clock there.

    @ rummuser – not having a vehicle is not an option for us. We live 3 miles from the nearest town and 8 miles from the town we do most of our shopping in. In the US, most communities have evolved based on private vehicles. There is little public transportation and most shopping areas are not within walking distances. Few people use bicycles. There are places that are exceptions.

    @ Jean – I've always had a watch. My current watch was a present from my wife several years ago. It's one of those watches you never have to reset as it is automatically updated by the time radio signal that is broadcast out of Colorado. We use it to check the time whenever we have to reset any of clocks in the house.

    @Vered – When I'm working again, if that happens, I'll be wearing my watch, mainly to ensure that I get to classes — or wherever else I need to be — on time and that I start my classes as scheduled. Timeliness is a performance indicator that requires a written response when it is not met.

    @ Friar – I enjoy being able to sleep in, though I may have to limit that if I start getting too much sleep — which is funny as here I sit answering comments at 2:42 AM.

  • Ricardo Bueno Oct 2, 2008

    You know what Mike, I've never really thought about it that way…the symbol that my watch (your watch) represents. Every time I head out the door I grab my wrist just to make sure I'm wearing my watch because it drives me crazy when I leave home and start my day without it. I don't stress over time or anything like that (ok, sometimes I do)…I like to wear it because it was given to me by my significant other and because well, quite frankly, I'm just used to wearing it. Ya know? Anyway, it's interesting to have read this…I've just never really quite thought of it that way.

  • Mike Goad Oct 3, 2008

    @ Ricardo – After I stopped wearing the watch — both times — it took me a while to get used to not having it on. Every so often, it would feel like something was missing from my wrist. A month later, it still occurs, but not as often.

    On the other hand, when I put it back on last February to go back to work, it was noticeable — almost a weight. And even when I was wearing it routinely, I took it off a couple of times a day, primarily when I was doing a lot of keyboard work.

  • Reely Reetired Oct 3, 2008


    First of all, you have not really retired. You mentioned a number of times that you have gone back to work, and you will wear your watch again when you go back to work.

    Retirement for me means enjoying my well-earned time to do the activities I love doing. And yes I wear my trusty Triathlon Timex, so I can be on time, whether, it’s cycling or skiing with friends, socializing with others, picking up my grandkids, and attending appointments. And yes I use my Timex timer while I’m picking berries or tomatoes or beans in the garden. When my Timex beeps, I can rush back inside and take the baking out of the oven, for company coming over for dinner.

    Secondly, what’s the big deal about not wearing a watch? You said “Not wearing a watch is a pretty much symbolic of freedom.” I wear my watch and I still have tones of freedom. I stopped wearing earrings, not as a symbol of freedom. It’s because I lost an expensive stud when I took off my cycling helmet.

    I retired in September 2000. My lifestyle is such that I no longer wear panty hose, so I cut them up and use them to tie up my tomato plants and raspberry canes. This action is not a symbol of my freedom. I cut them up because of my recycling ethic, and panty hose are virtually indestructible in the garden.

    If I seem a bit jaded, please accept my apology. I don’t know your financial circumstances, perhaps you really have to go back to work to make ends meet.

  • Mike Goad Oct 3, 2008

    Reely Retired – No reason for an apology. I don't see your comment as jaded, just a different perspective.

    Sure I've retired. I get a pension check every month.

    Yes, I went back to "work" at the same place that I had worked for 26 1/2 years. However, I was back as a contractor and I didn't HAVE to put up with the BS that an employee has to put up. I could walk any time without any consequences other than reducing my chances for going back. Plus I had the opportunity to do the part of the job that is — as one of my friends put it the other day — "in my blood." To me, though there were some long days, it wasn't work. It was FUN that I was getting paid to do. It's the only "job" that I really desire to do, if the opportunity is there, although there might be others I'd consider if I'm asked. Like I was for this last time. I didn't seek the work — they asked me if I would consider coming back for a 6 month contract since they didn't have enough people to the job. Too many retiring, y'see.

    Most of the guys I see every couple of weeks at a retiree breakfast thought I was nuts to be going back "out there," until I explained that I was going to get to do the part of the job that I enjoyed. Some of them still shook their head like I was crazy.

    So far as the big deal about not wearing a watch, I don't particular care to wear anything on my wrists or hands — or neck. Except for a short period I never wore a necklace and my ears are not pierced, so I've never had earrings. My wedding ring went into the jewelry box when I first went to sea in 1974 — risk of getting it caught on ladders going from one level to the next. I've not worn a ring since. I also really, really hated wearing ties during the period when management's position required it. When it became optional, I stopped.

    I'll wear a watch if I go back because of the expectations associated with the job. As I stated in a reply to a previous comment, timeliness for classes is a performance indicator that requires a formal written response when it is not met.

    Financial circumstances — I do not HAVE to work.

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