Saturday, January 30, 2010

Life Less Planned?

I used to be a very busy person. When I was in my junior year at college I was part of a large campus organization. I was first the PR person, then the treasurer of this organization, which meant that I was busy all day long. I held office hours where students could stop in and ask questions. I had meetings with individual members of the organization as well as the entire group. We planned and held various programs for the entire student body living on campus. This was on top of taking 5 classes, holding down a part-time job, and doing homework and papers, all while keeping a fairly busy social calendar. So I was on the go from the moment I woke up (at about 6 or 7 am) until I went to bed (around 11 or 12 at night) almost every day of the week. That entire year I used what my friend and I called “The Hairdressers’ Planner.” It was At-a-Glance’s Classic Weekly Appointment Book that has slots for every 15 minutes of the day. I wish I had kept that planner to look back on – that thing was full almost every day, using colored pens for various types of appointments and to-dos.

When I graduated from college and got a full-time job and didn’t do much else professionally, I didn’t need such a planner. I then downgraded to a weekly format that did not have time slots. Today I use a much smaller one than that even, still with no time slots and many of my days left with empty spaces, only once in a while being completely full with things to do.

A while back I was going to enroll in a program where I would need to take two year’s worth of classes. When I decided that I was done with school for good (or at least at this point in time) and that I wanted this time of my life to be about me and my husband (after schooling but before possible kids), I bailed on the program. I’m not sorry I did. I’m glad I made that decision and even more glad that I recognized what I wanted before getting in over my head with projects and papers that I loathed to do. So the last few years have been about me and my husband – planning our future together, deciding what’s important to us, and mainly just focusing on us and what we want not only for ourselves as individuals, but for us as a family too. I have learned to let go a little bit (though more work is needed in this area), be a little less planned to allow for some spontaneity, be more focused on my well-being both physically and emotionally, and to just be once in a while, appreciating all that nature and life have to offer. I am enjoying this time of my life even though I sometimes feel bored by the lack of “things” to do.

But I can’t help wondering if I’ve become a little more lazy because of this. Yes, sometimes being lazy is good – it helps you to stop and smell the roses. But considering how on-the-go I used to be, I feel like I’ve become a sloth. I have no big personal projects to work on, nothing to keep me spiritually motivated. This got me thinking that I need to strive for something, something just for me – not my work, not my husband, and not my family, current or possibly one-day-to-be.

So. There is something that I’ve been thinking of doing, something that I’d like to try but from sheer laziness have not. In the near future I will have a small opportunity to test the waters of this something. I was a little hesitant at first – do I really want to do this, this will take a lot of my time, will I have to invest a lot of money, etc. But I figure, “Why not?” If I don’t like it, I don’t do it. If I do, who knows where that could lead? There are many possibilities and possibility is what I’ve been lacking lately. So I’m taking that step, taking that first plunge. This will mean more to-dos in the planner, which is good I think because we all need something to strive for, to make us feel that we’re doing something for ourselves. But I also need to remember to plan those stop-and-smell-the-roses moments because they are important too. And those moments might be a little sweeter if they don’t come around as often.

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