Winding the Clock

I love clocks. I know there are people who can’t stand listening to something tick tock it’s way incessantly through the day and night, but to me, a home isn’t really a functioning thing until it’s got that beat to it.

I’m not sure why. My dad had a cuckoo clock I liked when I was growing up, and I liked to watch it get wound. (Three chains that you’d pull to raise weighted metal pine cones.) My house had a clock in the kitchen for the last . . . seven or eight years I lived there? Something like that. I just grew accustomed to it. I think part of it is I like a house quiet enough that you can actually hear that tick tocking, wherever you are. Not all the time, but at least several times a day. I don’t like having the television on just for noise.

Quiet is good. (You can leave the librarian jokes at the door, thanks.)

About a year ago, I got a grandfather clock. I was extremely excited for the acquisition, as that’s sort of the best clock I can imagine. It takes its ticking and tocking very seriously, But it also has very precise demands on when it must be wound. If you don’t take the time to wind it, then it will inevitably stop. (Like any clock, I know, but for some reason the big grandfather clock is a much better reminder of this for me. Probably because my smaller clock can be wound once every three weeks or so, but the grandfather clock needs it once a week.)

As I was winding it this morning, it occurred to me that I view people in much the same way. I believe we all need time to wind the springs and gears to keep everything running smoothly. Ideally, people figure out what works best for them. I’m not talking about regular sleep, a good diet, and exercise. In my book, that’s just keeping the clock in good repair. Rather, I mean doing things that take yo you away from the regular chores of everyday life and work.

For me, this is time spent reading, watching movies and television, and playing games. Ideally with my family, but I can do it on my own in a pinch. I know that if I have enough time to make time for these “extra” things, the rest of my life works so much more smoothly. I have the patience and attention to get all the things I have to do done. So doing those fun things are as much a part of doing the actual work as the work itself.

And that’s my deep thought for the day.

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