Ruled by the clock

Jesse travels quite a bit for work but was able to “sneak” home for 43 hours this weekend. I know the hours (and even the minutes) because the Kuntzes are a family that is ruled by the clock.

For decades, I’ve known about being “on the clock” and “rocking around the clock,” but being “ruled by the clock” wasn’t a phrase I had ever come across until the spring of 2018. That’s when I read Sound Reporting by Jonathan Kern for my old radio job.

On most days it doesn’t matter whether we’re reporters, editors, producers, directors, or hosts, our working days are ruled by the clock.

Jonathan Kern, Sound Reporting

Firstly, it’s a good book. If you enjoy news radio, especially NPR, read it.

Secondly, just working days, pal? Show me one person in news radio who truly takes a day off. Show me one radio person who doesn’t always have one eye on the clock. If there’s a fire, radio people will look at the time before they look for the exit.

Empaths, I invite you to grab a partner and act the following scene from A Conversation You Will Never Hear in a Radio Station by Connie Kuntz.

John: Oh, I forgot my phone and watch and all 17 clocks within 25 feet of each other are missing. Do you know what time it is?

Mary: Gosh, I have no idea.

John: It’s still morning, right?

Mary: Not sure!

John: So what’s new?

Mary: How would I know?

The world explodes. End of scene.

You see, it’s funny because it’s a conversation you would never hear in a radio station.

Anyway, my family and I are ruled by the clock, just not as much radio people. So before Jesse decided to squeeze his break in, we debated whether it would be worth it to come home for such a short interval. There are times when it’s best to stay in the “work groove” because breaks don’t always refresh and renew the spirit so much as destroy momentum. Normally we “choose momentum,” but not this time and I’m glad.

While he was home, we went to Funderburg Forest Preserve for a hike. I was on the lookout for fresh mushrooms but found an abundance of sharply-lobed bloodroot instead. Cute!


Seeing the spring ephemeral softened my stress but it was a very windy afternoon.

Illinois wind is not exactly the loving caress of Mother Nature. It’s aggressive and a little cruel. It cuts into your eyes and tangles your hair. But it also has a way of knocking some sense into you so by the time we met our kids back at the trailhead, we were all smiles.

Mother Nature is not ruled by the clock but she knows how to slow time down. She’s amazing. I’m not sure what inspires her, but I know we should listen to her more often.

Thanks for reading my blog. Nine more days until I reach the 100-day mark. But who’s counting? -Connie

Sam, Angelo and Fern off the trails at Funderburg.

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