Yesterday I was walking down the steps of my apartment building and winding my pocket watch that I wear around my neck at the same time. While I was doing this, I thought about how much I love that I have a watch that I just wind everyday instead of having to get new batteries from time to time.
Then it hit me. It hit me hard.
Most people don’t want a watch they have to wind everyday. They think they’ll forget, or that it’s too much trouble. Never mind that they could just wind their watch while they are doing anything else. That remembering at some point in a 24 hour period (especially if you are wearing it all of the time) is not difficult at all.
None of that matters. We have become programmed to want instant gratification, even if that means more work in the long term.
You see, my watch isn’t any extra work, I twist the stinking thing often, actually, even when I don’t have to. It’s become a simple daily habit and I so appreciate not having to go buy batteries, spend money on batteries, or open up my watch to put in new batteries.
But the reason it hit me so hard was because I feel that it’s analogous to other areas of my life, where I choose something that, to most people, sounds difficult and annoying, but I find completely easy and painfree, just not in the norm.
My choice of birth control is not the least of these choices.
How fertility awareness is like winding a watch
Most people’s reaction when I tell them what I do for birth control:
1.) Isn’t that risky?
2.) That sounds really complicated.
I’d love to agree. To say that I spend a gajillion hours a day on it but it’s worth it because it’s benefiting my health, the environment, and my relationship, but that would be a lie.
Not the last part, though, that’d be truth, but the first part would be a lie for sure.
Yeah, it takes some time to learn (like it takes some time to get used to regularly winding your watch).
Yeah, it takes some daily intention/mindfulness (just like you have to remember to wind your watch or you won’t know what time it is anymore).
But, all in all, the bit of daily effort saves you time, money, and most likely a good deal of stress.
How in the world could it be less stressful?
Just like I am aware of my watch being stopped because I didn’t wind it, I know exactly when I should play it safe on deciding when I am fertile if I haven’t been charting.
Alternatively, I could have my watch surprisingly stop (at some random time I wasn’t prepared for) and have to go out and buy a new battery just to get the thing working again. To me, this is reminiscent of the work that you have to if you use a type of birth control that requires a bigger action periodically, like going to the doctor to get your prescription, shot, or even check-up if you fear something is amiss.
I also have complete control. I know that I am winding my watch, just like I know that I am making the observations I need to make to get an accurate picture of my fertile window.
If I didn’t wind my watch I would have no idea when the battery was about to run out, and perhaps my watch would start keeping time funny when the battery was low.
If I was just taking a pill I wouldn’t really know what went into it, how my body was reacting to it, or how effective I could expect it to be, especially if I missed a day.
There are definitely pros and cons, but I am the kind of person that would rather have more control, awareness, and do little automatic actions often rather than having to make a big effort every so often with less effort in between.
Do you have any practices in your life that seem simple and automatic for you, and you really think they save you time and money in the long run but other people think you are kind of crazy for putting the effort into them? Let me know in the comments.