Today, at a moment whose precision is forever lost, my wristwatch died. It first started running more slowly, and then wouldn’t hold the electrical charge provided by its solar panels. Now I am watch-less, and left to wonder what I should do about this matter.
As I get older, other possessions come to the end of their lives—appliances, clothing, tools, gadgets and gizmos. Each has had some usefulness in my life, and the demise of each one presents me with the dilemma of replacing the item, or just living without it. Replacement can be the easiest option, but may not always be the most wise. We have too much stuff already, and the benefits of downsizing could be enhanced by our possessions’ passing. (Also, our children will have less to throw away when we’re gone!)
Something else is working inside of me when these decision points arrive: What will I do when other elements of my well-being come to their end? If this home burned down, would we start over? Is it worth the cost to replace our older car, or keep nursing it along? Should we keep planting a garden that’s just going to die every winter? Could we live just as well without smartphones?
The mortality of everything and everyone in life reminds me of Psalm 90’s wonderful word-picture, about all flesh being like grass that grows, flourishes and then dries up. The things that we depend on, the relationships that nourish our spirit, the social services on which we rely—are they necessary or can we live fully without them? However we answer this question, we can still experience satisfaction and joy—perhaps in other life-enriching ways.
As for the dearly-departed watch, I will try to live without it. I’m going to try imprecision for awhile….