By Bruce Stambaugh
Years ago, owning a Timex watch was chic. At least it was from my adolescent point of view as influenced by the ubiquitous TV commercials.
The company’s slogan was as simple as their ads. “Timex: The watch that takes a licking and keeps on ticking.” They demonstrated various ways to challenge the integrity of their watches. The timepieces were stepped on, dropped from high places, and crunched by cars.
Those commercials stuck in my impressionable mind. I can’t recall if I ever owned one of their indestructible watches or not. I did wear a watch religiously as a teen.
Doing so was THE way to tell time unless you were in a room with a clock. I wore a watch for most of my adult life. Watches were the standard retirement gift. I got one when I retired as a school principal. I quit wearing it a few years ago for a more accurate way to tell time.
With the advent of cell phones, I stored my wristwatches with my grandfather’s gold pocket watch that my parents gave to me. I ditched the watches for two reasons.
First, wristwatches bothered me when I wore them. In the summer, I sweated with it strapped to my wrist. Other times the expandable metal band pinched my skin. Secondly, I could easily tell time by just looking at my cell phone. The date and time displayed prominently on the phone’s face.
The same was true when I traded in my flip phone for a smartphone. If I want to know the time, I just pull out my phone and glance at the screen. The time is universally accurate.
I realized, though, that time is more than just seconds, minutes, and hours. I also noticed that instead of a wall calendar or the electronic calendars that sync on my phone and laptop computer, I have begun knowing what day of the week it is in a much different fashion.
I use the calendars for the date. I use my weekly pill case for knowing what day it is.
Like many other baby boomers, I’m a walking pharmacy. I’m embarrassed about how many pills I take every day, four times a day, sometimes five depending on my health. I apparently didn’t inherit my parents’ best genes.
It’s sad but true. Every day before breakfast, I religiously bow to my seven-day plastic pill case. It contains four capped compartments for each day of the week. Just so I know where to begin and end, each compartment is labeled for the proper day of the week. And I thought these were just for old people.
I take so many pills that none of the compartments goes empty. I hate taking so much medicine. A lifetime of stuffing my body with gluten, which I unknowingly couldn’t tolerate, drives most of my various medical conditions.
I finally went gluten-free four years ago. But the compounded irritation damage of the gluten still has to be treated and supplemented. Consequently, my pill box is full.
Like it or not, it has come to pass that instead of an indestructible Timex or a handy-dandy smartphone, a utilitarian pill case has become my measure of time. And just like my old watches, don’t look for it on my wrist.
As I empty those pill compartments one by one, I can’t believe how fast the weeks fly by. I lament that it takes a pillbox to remind me of that.
© Bruce Stambaugh 2017