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Waiting two minutes to see a loved one who you haven’t seen in months, and the two minute window for either catching or missing a flight, is the same measurement of time and yet very different.  One feels like an eternity and the other is just not enough. Being punctual for an appointment is important to me, give or take five to seven minutes of ‘wiggle’.  My friends known that if we need to be on time, then ask Brenda to manage the itinerary.  There are many instances I wish I could be more ‘laissez faire’, but in my world right now it is just how I mark time.

In North America we segment time into precise units so that we can arrange, schedule and manage our lives.  We measure time in years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, and milliseconds.  This way of measuring time is based on our history of ‘factory time’ and is referred to as the Monochronic time system.  In this culture, it is considered rude to be late for an appointment and keep someone waiting.  Countries which use this time system include Germany, United Kingdom, Turkey, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Jamaica, Canada, Switzerland, United States and Scandinavia.

On the other hand, the Polychronic time system is measured in seasons and community festivals.  Folks who live in this hum of life are often deeply rooted in traditions and the relationships around them.  Being on time for an appointment is not a priority as they have very possibly triple booked themselves.  Time is fluid within this system and a person’s agenda will change multiple number of times in a day.  Example of some countries which follow this time measurement include Spain, Brazil, India, Saudi Arabia, China, Mexico and Pakistan.

As a self-described 80% ‘mono’ time teller, this Sunday marks the time of year that makes it easier to be more ‘poly-anna’.  It’s Daylight Savings Time!  For me it means that I get to tell time more often by noticing where the sun is in the sky.  Tell me, how do you tell time differently in your life?  In your work?

Soon it will be ‘sangria time’ which is the most wonderful time of the year!

Timely yours, Brenda

PS.  Wondering how many days until Spring? Summer?  Christmas?  Click here


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