Advice & Resources, Autism Insights, My Journey

Being Autistic, Judging Time and Planning Ahead!

Well, I guess that title is somewhat self-explanatory, but to elaborate let me share more. My struggle with time isn’t a typical one, in that I don’t lose track of time or forget or under-estimate it. I can quite proudly read both analog and digital time in this day and age, and in fact my watch is even one that displays the numbers in roman numerals making an additional test in telling time. For me, the struggle with time comes down to one thing- figuring out how early or when to leave in order to get somewhere on time. It’s something that’s on my mind quite a lot navigating my way to places, while fighting the anxiety of not really knowing what’s a good time to head out and it’s something as you’ll see in this blog that I’ve been reflecting on a lot as well.

How Does One Fit a Quarter Past Twelve?

Possibly the best way to describe this feeling of “not knowing” what’s a good time or what the difference between say five and fifteen minutes is to say it is akin to the one I feel when entering into any situation vaguely. Anxiety, uncertainty and a brief mind pause kicks in as I try to accurately translate the meaning of a quarter to twenty five minutes or try to consistently work on when the appropriate time to get ready to leave may be that soothes my anxiety but doesn’t have me arriving far too early. Instead, what comes happens is this blank picture of a clock shows up, in which the numbers around the clock appear in my minds eye until I can visualize what a quarter past twelve or five to actually look like and where it is placed. If you are wondering it’s when the big hand is at the twelve and the minute hand lands on the 5 (represents 25 minutes); this as I am also learning is different than a quarter to twelve where in which the the minute hand lands on the 9 (representing 45 minutes) and the hour hand lands just before the twelve. So, see how this could be confusing… also on a semi-unrelated note I have been known to literally picture a quarter in my mind whenever someone says a quarter past twelve because that’s just how my mind works when it takes a bizarre turn to the imaginary. It’s also why when dealing with time I prefer specific, exact times like 12:25 I know exactly what that means or 11: 45 in the case of a quarter to twelve because you can tell just looking at these two times how different they really are as far as timing.

On an interesting note, there are also those select few occasions whereby totally captivated by what I am doing I find myself more often than not losing track of time while working away and suddenly realize what I intended to work on for only thirty minutes has turned into a full hour of organizing or sorting out only to realize that my usually planned break is overdue. It, again, is the interesting other side of a singular focus, hyper-focus mind that when given the task with the right task gets straight to work and easily loses track of time… but that’s a post for another time.

And…until next time friends, Enjoy your time


Blog image courtesy of  RODOLFO BARRETO on Unsplash

Feature image courtesy of Sonja Langford on Unsplash