Monday, April 20, 2015

How dare other people have schedules!

Time becomes much less relevant when you're a retired vagabond. Except when we have to interact with the normal world.

It's so inconvenient that other people need to be certain places at certain times doing certain things, or that there's this thing called "business hours."

I eased into this life of elastic time when I was self-employed. I had deadlines, but how I used the time until then was pretty much up to me. Work early, work late, work in a series of short bursts, whatever. And mobile technology allowed me to do that work from any number of places. I had to be in touch with others during "business hours," but that didn't mean sitting at a desk from 9 to 5. Retiring and hitting the road meant I could snip those last tendrils of time-dependent living. Mostly. One hundred percent most days.

Research was done decades ago where they had test subjects live in a controlled environment where there were no indicators of time. No clocks, no windows, no broadcast TV or radio (only recorded programming). The subjects would sleep when they were tired, wake when they weren't, and ask for meals when they were hungry. Researchers learned that most people's internal clocks aren't set for a 24-hour day. It was usually shorter, often by several hours. That meant the test subjects drifted more and more out of synch with "real" time.

This conflict between internal and external time is what wears us down. And that's one reason the retired vagabond life can be so refreshing. We run according to our own natural clock. Too bad we sometimes have to bend to fit the schedules of the unfortunate time trapped majority.


  1. For me it also makes a difference if I'm van living or apartment living. I get more out of sync with the day in the apartment where so much of my environment is artificial. In the van you can't help but notice the sun's cycle.

  2. I always liked the Indian who said that the white man looks at his watch to see if he is hungry.