Internally, I lean toward what is known as “Indian Time” and because it is my nature, I’ve developed what I secretly call “Oh, well, Robin time”.

Here is a quick summary of those two ticking tocks of my internal clock. Indian Time is a lower regard for the importance of clock time and a high regard for what-really-counts time. Oh, well, Robin time is my reaction to being early or late and not exactly on the appointed clock time. Something I do often enough. I’ve learned to accept that my nature is to move with my own inner clock, and to try to respect the need for real-time tick tocks, but when that fails, just laugh and sigh Oh, well…

I recently sat in a parking lot with a dear and long time friend, the flow between us smooth, deep and wide. We spoke about how the funeral of her father highlighted how deeply cherished the decades of love we share have been. In his passing and our memories of him, I found myself loving the very DNA that brought her into my life, and I was grateful for the branch and the bloom.

That seemed more important to me than holding up my son and our lunch date by 10 minutes. Now, he knows I run on Oh-Mom-time and I wonder if he even expects me to always be punctual, we roll with one another on this subject.  I appreciate him for loving me even when I was the last mommy to arrive, more than once ,during his upbringing. He was busy in his office and knew I’d call. So, I called him to delay, and calmly finished the conversation. I arrived to pick up my son and we had a great–late–lunch. All was well.

I have friends and family that are deeply insulted by my Oh, well, Robin time. And for them I TRY to arrive on clock time, call if I’ll be late, at least that is my intention. Now, let me be honest, there are thousands of times it is no more than procrastination or misplaced keys that find me late to an appointment, an internal game of turtle and the hare where I see just how close to the finish line I can run.

But sometimes it is Indian Time.  When I have to cut off an important moment I’d rather linger inside, I feel the white heat of resistance to external clocks, daylight savings and all the falling back and forward in time. It’s not my nature, but I understand that on a deep level, they consider being kept waiting an indication that I don’t value them and their time. I also understand that planes depart on clock time, cookies need to come out of the oven on a certain schedule, and other physical and emotional clocks are literal.

But not always. Something strains inside me about this subject of time.

When my late husband was dying, and when my son was born, I was glad that I roll easily with time punches. Because birth and death are not on a clock we can measure.

Being on Indian Time has it’s place in the world. And so does being on clock time.

Our souls live on Indian Time.

Our culture lives on clock time.

Me? Oh, well, Robin time.


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