One of my previous posts discussed this predicament we are all faced with at some point in our lives, or even our days: doing what we say we’re going to do. After talking to friends about this I think it has more to do with our ability to be consistent in life. Jumping from one thing to another is the 15 second television commercial lifestyle we are all conditioned to live. It only makes sense that we break our lives into little snippets of times, little sound bytes of existence that are only part of a greater reality that in totality don’t have a lot of cohesion.
We are a sound byte culture, from our work lives broken into neat one hour meetings, to our evening activities which we regiment based on duration – kids soccer practice for two hours, gymnastics for an hour, drive time between school and home, home and practice, our commute to work in the morning, lunch if it’s not scheduled over with a meeting. Even our meals are packed up into little bytes, everything thing compartmentalized, neatly organized so we can race between life events.
There is cohesion sometimes between the other parents who are also caught up in the race, and our friends who we program time for during our week and our sacred weekends (usually neatly scheduled so we optimize them). Everything we do is regimented and structured in an order to optimize our time. Even playing with the kids falls into a certain time category.
Now, I’m not saying there is anything wrong with this, to some degree it’s essential when you want to live a full life… but how beneficial is it to us, our families, our friends, and our health? Some companies have gone to meeting-free Fridays, or encourage their employees to spend a day a weekend technology free – but how feasible is any of this? I would like to believe that we can do it if we put our minds to it, but again, are we just regimenting our free time and making ourselves feel better about overbooking our lives?
I suggest taking a day of the week and not scheduling anything, or even an evening where you break free of your regular byten up afternoon and evening and let life happen without planning it out. Let spontaneity carry you for an evening or a day, take a scheduled vacation and byte back some of your time, reclaim it as yours and work on allowing yourself to just exist. Schedules are a necessary part of life… but how many of us are leading our schedules and how many of us are letting our schedules lead us?