mental health

I Happily Unplugged My Bedroom Clock

dark clock

I Happily Unplugged My Bedroom Clock

I cannot sleep with a light on unless I am dog-boned tired and exhausted. I love laying down and seeing darkness. Pitch black darkness. Somehow that is soothing to me. Of course, as a kid, I didn’t like that very much. In particular I hated the darkness in the South Bronx where the street lamps contrasted brightly with the darkness in my room leading the scary shadows dancing on my wall. Of course, it also didn’t help that those shadows were of people climbing the windows of my building.   Yes, the darkness back then was menacing and discomforting.

When I went to boarding school up in northern Massachusetts, I could see the night sky and stars. Darkness was beautiful and comforting. Well, except for those all-nighters that we often had to pull. It was amazing that an A- grade caused many of my peers to consider and attempt suicide. I suppose, upon this reflection, the darkness brought much anxiety to a few people.

Now, today, I am comfortable with the darkness. There is serenity. There is dreaming to be had and plans to be plotted on the night sky.

Darkness calms the mind

Erase away today’s blights

Orion awaits

In this vein, I went ahead and turned over my clock about six weeks ago. It was too bright and the turn of the minutes was distracting. In those moments that one wakes up at two in the morning, that clock is more of a reminder of how one is currently failing.   Think about it for a second (pun intended). You look at that clock and you know that time is wasting away and you have to get up in three or four hours. You feel pressured to perform – the act of falling asleep. The clock, in this instance, is counter-productive to a good night’s sleep. The clock is not your friend in this instance.Think about it further. The word clock is apparently derived from the Celtic word clocca meaning bell.  The chimes of bells can be wonderful sounds but I surely don’t need it when I am searching for serenity.

The clock is one of the oldest human invented tools that have signaled our collective need to measure time. Yes clocks are hidden in the dark casinos where you can just gamble everything away.  I am not saying we should do away with clocks. I am a stickler for punctuality. If someone if ten minutes late, I consider that a rude gesture. Clocks, timekeeping are needed. Yet, there are times when they are not and we must feel free and emboldened to be free of them.

With those thoughts running through my mind, I turned my clock back over and unplugged it a few weeks ago.  And I have been fine. I let my body dictate when I get up. I sleep a little longer in the morning and I still get to work on time.  As for clocks themselves, I still haven’t figured out how I feel about the difference between 24-hour notation and 12-hour notation clocks. They both drag and pull in different ways. Either way, no more bedroom clocks.

May you sleep well tonight!

6 replies »

  1. To each his own, as the saying goes. I like to have the large, backlit numbers showing on my clock. They also serve as a nightlight. As far as knowing the time during the day, I never wear a watch anymore. And, I’m always on time. Glad you made the decision about the clock. Many times, the clock rules our lives instead of our having control over our time.


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