Keeping time.

My first watch, still alive and ticking.

I detest being late.

Actually, detest is not strong enough a word here.

If there is even the slightest, smallest, most miniscule possibility that I won't be early - like really, really early - to something, I'd rather just not go.

Yes, I realize it's not exactly sane.

Yes, I realize it's not a terribly good use of my time to get to EVERY single appointment 2 hours ahead of time.

It's just part of my particular kind of crazy.  What can I say?

Anyway, since the age of six or seven when I was gifted my first watch (Mickey Mouse, of course.  I still have it, of course.) I've been a rabid watch wearer.  Rabid, as in, I cannot possibly for any reason leave my house without a watch on and I'd prefer to wear it when I shower and sleep, too, thank you very much.  Rabid, as in, I still to this day prefer Mickey Mouse watches, but in the absence of one of those, any old thing that keeps accurate time will do.  Rabid, as in, I forgot to wear my watch to work exactly twice in 17 years.  Once I had to leave in the middle of the day and go home for it.  The other time, when that wasn't an option, I dug through the lost and found box and came up with a Thomas the Tank Engine watch that some poor little kid had left there and wore it all day.  The minute I strapped it on my left wrist - face underneath, as God and all watchmakers intended, of course - I felt a sense of relief and peace wash over me.

Yeah, I know.  Crazy.

My watch has always been important to me.  I fell in love with RJ over a watch, but that's a story for another day.

At one point, I was going through a watch or so a month, because I would forget to take it off before washing dishes in the cafe at work.  RJ got tired of listening to me moan about and bought me a beautiful (and expensive, I thought at the time) waterproof Citizen brand Mickey watch and I've been wearing it ever since.

Then one day a month or so ago, in the flurry to get zj ready for school and out the door and to get cj dressed and out the door with me so we could run some errands, it happened.

I forgot to put my watch on.

I realized it just as I was pulling into the grocery store parking lot, and my immediate first thought was that I needed to turn around and  go home to get it.  One does not simply shop for cereal without a watch on...

Then I talked myself down.  It was a 20 minute drive back to my house, then it would be another 20 minutes to get back to the store.  I only needed a few things.  I could be in and out of the grocery and on my way home in less time than it would take to retrieve my watch.

So I did it.  I went in and shopped, naked wristed and completely clueless about the time.  Well, except for my iPhone, which I checked approximately every 2.37 seconds.

But it was... fine.  Just fine.

So since then, I have purposefully left the house no less than half a dozen times without my watch.   While I don't think I'll ever get over my need to arrive early for everything every single time every day of my life, I am slowly, slowly, slowly trying to keep from being so... tightly wound all the time.  (God, I'm funny.)  I'm trying to relax a little more, to stop and smell the roses, if you will.

I keep reminding myself that sometimes life is happening all around me while I'm trying to get to the next thing, and that it's ok to take time out to enjoy it.  Not everything has to happen on an exact schedule every single day.

Most things on most days, maybe.  But not everything.

It's a process.

I'm getting there.

It just takes time.

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