Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Watch for the Time

As many of my generation, we count first and spend second. We were raised by parents who worked hard to accumulate, and did not have access to a credit card. Did you know that the charge card did not become well known and used in Canada until the late 1960's. Can you imagine how many dollars sat hidden under mattresses until then?

When I saw the watch that I had been coveting, on a 30% off sale, my heart started to flutter. There is nothing quite as alluring as “the hunt”, it is my feeble attempt at beating the system. Yes, darn it all, I am a rule-follower (for the most part). Once a deal is spotted, what happens to you? Is there a voice that says “do it!”, or like most of us is there a trail of big and little voices playing in our heads? Do you hear, “what do you need that for?”, “are you sure you can afford it?”, and sometimes most loudly “do you deserve it?” The echoes of all these voices can continue in varying volumes depending on circumstance.

Then the next phase began. Instinct one: see if my children will share the cost and give it to me for Christmas. Yes, denial to deserve raised its ugly head. Maybe sharing the guilt would make it easier, I could justify the “gift”. Instinct two: consider it my own Christmas present and wait 54 days to put it on. Procrastination, maybe by then, I would feel like I deserve it. Instinct three: (in a quiet voice but certainly getting louder over the years) Wear it, love it, enjoy it. Instinct three won out and on the weekend, that watch became mine.

In light of a month that ended with several tragic accidents that took many young lives, I ponder the passage of time. The brevity of life to do the things we truly enjoy, to share our happiness with abounding joy. My heart goes out to the families of those lost and of the persons that took those lives. No one is left unscathed, just our roles differ. For an old colleague, who died quickly but not without pain, thank you Jon, for all you gave to the world.

So today, I am wearing my new watch. I have subdued the voice that said that “ I didn’t need it”, and I have opened a sufficient number of bank statements that say “I can afford it” . In tribute to those who will not enjoy the luxury of time, I wear a watch that will bear witness to its passing.

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