To do list v. to do list, calendar v. calendar, it seems like the battle for who has the craziest schedule is always on. I hear it constantly. I partake in it without realizing all of the time. It seems the more miserable you are racing from one thing to the next, with the biggest list of things that need to get done, the more points you get.
When did free time become a bad thing?
I hear people ask this question when they’re talking about kids, but never about adults. We debate if kids should be hyper scheduled or just playing out in the backyard and how many activities are too many for them. But what about us? What about the adults of the world? When did a little empty space on our planner become non-existent and shouldn’t we be at least a little worried about that?
One of my best friends from college lives in the Twin Cities area, not too far from me. When we try to find time to get a cup of coffee and catch up, it requires both of us with our calendars and typically scheduling at least two weeks out. One time we were on four weeks out, without a single hour we could both meet, and I finally said our schedules were just too ridiculous and I needed extra hours in the day. She laughed, “We’d just fill those too.”
She’s right, but why? No really, not a hypothetical question. Why is this cool? Why do we consider it validating not to have time to do the things we like to do? What is so great about a person who does so much that they don’t have time to enjoy doing any of it?
This year, I think I finally over did it. I took on WAY too much. I thought I was superwoman, and I thought no schedule was too crazy for me to make it work. And once you take it on, you have to make it work. But the toll it took to pull it off was too great. In the end, it doesn’t feel worth it. I gave up too much. When you can never stop, even the things that should be fun, aren’t anymore.
I’m sure that once the dust settles, there’s going to be an alarm that goes off in me screaming “TOO MUCH FREE TIME! FILL IT IMMEDIATELY!” But I’m going to try to ignore it.
The girl I’m trying to get back to, the one that existed before this three year detour, she was crazy busy too. But she was crazy busy with things she loved. Things that she left feeling better than when she came in. And she kept room in her schedule for friends and Sunday naps and cooking dinner.
From the spot I am sitting right now I can see a bunch of books I bought but haven’t had time to read, the guitar I wanted for my birthday that I haven’t had time to learn to play, a pair of shoes I haven’t had time to return which will probably not be returnable anymore… It’s not that I want to sit around and do nothing. It’s that I have these things I want to do that I don’t leave time for. And there are a whole bunch of people I haven’t left enough time for either. And that needs to change.
I’m going to clean out my schedule like I clean out my closets. Everything out, and you have to meet specific criteria to get back in. I need to set some priorities and limits. And then I need to stick to them… That’s always the hard part. But I think it’s crucial to the rest of the Restoration succeeding.