25 Turns

brass pocket watches

By Jerry Lambert

I’m not sure when my obsession with pocket watches began. There has always been something a little magical about carrying around time in your pocket, as opposed to on your wrist. A few years ago, I came across a nice little faux pocket watch at Big Lots. It was battery-operated, as opposed to a manual-wind mechanism. After I dropped it a couple of times over the years, the case was eventually broken beyond repair. So I wound up tossing it in the trash. This past Christmas, my brother John bought me a beautiful new silver manual-wind pocket watch as a replacement.

The concept of time-travel has always fascinated me. Maybe because I’ve had my share of mistakes in life, where a do-over would have been a nice option. In the Harry Potter series, Hermione Granger used a Time-Turner, a tiny hourglass on a long gold chain, to jump back in time with Harry to save Buckbeak and Sirius Black. Per Dumbledore’s instructions, she gives it 3 turns. I thought about that the other day as I was winding my watch. I generally give it 25 turns. One for every hour of the day, plus one. As if I am somehow adding another hour to my busy day, with an additional turn of the crown.

When I wind my watch each morning, I am acutely aware of how much time I have to complete my self-assigned duties for the day. Recently, I have been listening to The 5 Second Rule and an idea struck me. I created a 5 Second List for all of the tasks I normally avoid or postpone on a daily basis. Then I used my workout watch to measure how long it took to make the bed, empty and load the dishwasher, pay the bills, etc. At the end of the day, I was astounded by how little time it actually took to do the jobs I generally dodged or put off until the next day. Tomorrow morning, as I give my pocket watch that 25th turn, I’ll remind myself to use the time wisely. After all, we never know how many turns we have left.

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