Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Out Of Balance

Do you ever feel like you're living on auto-pilot? Like every 24 hours is really just a list of tasks that rolls forward to the next list? That is how I tend to live. I am not one of those "life to the fullest" kind of livers. Should that say live-ers? Because I don't necessarily want to be a liver. Anyway...
I am pretty task-oriented and anyone who has the misfortune to be caught in my gravitational pull will tell you that I am entirely inflexible. I'm a scheduler and a follower of that schedule. I think my parents did that to me, along with the parted-down-the-middle hair and 9:00 bedtime they are also schedulers and task-doers. I'm all about a week's worth of work clothes being pre-ironed and lunches being ready the night before and lists, lists, lists! I firmly believe this is a really good thing for a family. I think it reduces stress on everybody and especially kids when backpacks, school clothes, lunches and homework are prepared the night before. In the morning, relax, eat some cereal and go to school. These families who scramble before school looking for their left shoe or permission slip? Sorry, I think it's anxiety-producing and bad-habit forming. There, I've said it.
Oh, and while I'm at it...you people who are not prepared for your day and are chronically running late or can't pony up with whatever you are responsible for...you are the supporting evidence for my theory!
By now you probably think I'm on yet another soap box about how I do things the right way. Well, you're wrong. This is more about how the good things in us can still be not so good things sometimes. I am so overly-structured in my life that I am pretty much without spontaneity. Sometimes Saturdays are the most stressful day of my week because there is a war in my head between the list of things I have to do and the stuff that I (or my family) would like to do. And if I just throw caution to the wind and leave that laundry behind to go to the movies, I actually develop a tension headache. That's no good.
I don't want to be a person who just lets responsibilities slide because I'm looking for something fun instead. I don't respect that approach to life. I especially don't like it when someone else has to pay for me not taking care of business.
On the other hand, I gotta learn to chill.
There will always be something that I should be doing instead. Something less fun that hangs over my head while I'm "wasting" time elsewhere. The to do list never really ends, does it? I'm trying at this point to attend to not just the external but the internal. Trying to tend to my own need for things that just plain make me happy, and then learning how to be just plain happy doing them. Dusty living room notwithstanding.
I woke up the other day, threw in my laundry,made the coffee and started immediately making that eternal list of what had to get done. Then a weird thought floated into my head...I'd like to get a nice bouquet of fresh flowers today to put on the kitchen table. Bouquet of flowers!! There's no time/money/reason to do that!
Then again; maybe there is time, money and a reason to do that.
I'm half-way through my life. It's time to be better balanced.
Time for more flowers and fewer lists.
You have no idea how that terrifies me.
And I have no idea how to do it.
Psalm 42:8 By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life.


Tonya said...

Lists are good Sara, Do NOT give them up, I am warning you. It will stress you out more, not having a LIST to work from...In case you have not figured it out already, I am a list maker...If I do not have a list (like on a Saturday) I have a hard time getting motivated.

Sara said...

tonya~why am i not surprised you understand me so well?

Amber Land said...

Funny, I am reading this monents after I put homework, permission slip and picture order form in K's bookbag. I've checked the lunch menu and laid out clothes for the day ahead. I love lists they are the only thing that keeps me together!

Pat said...

Lists and flowers are both good, but your "revelation" hit the nail on the head. It's all about balance.
Now go part your hair down the middle, and write down on your list, "must buy flowers".

Margie said...

Children need structure, this "free thinking, let them act anyway they want, someone else will clean up their messes" way of thinking sucks.

Balance is good. I am a list maker but am trying to do things that stretch me a little... I went on my first motorcycle ride yesterday!!

Keep your list, the world needs structure and lists... and lots of flowers.

KayMac said...

Flowers make us smile while we are completing the things on our lists!!

tina fabulous said...

i hate lists. when someone tries to show me a list, i punch them in the face.
i'm always late, i never do anything in advance, and i give people birthday gifts a month after their birthday.

thats how i roll.

Mrs. Mac said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mrs. Mac said...

It's a good idea to be a bit flexible in your schedule. The only lists I make are 1. a grocery list, and 2. a packing list before a trip. Other than that ... I have to rely on doing what I can for the day, hiring someone to do what I can't finish or hate doing (such as ironing) and being a OK with a bedtime that may change once in a while. We make lunches in the morning, but since we have a place for everything and everything in its place, that permission slip is right where it should be ... turned in a week early too. Don't sweat the small stuff or you become too anal ;) Now go and plant some flowers.

Jada's Gigi said...

hint: schedule fun and do nothing time...your task driven self is happy(you are actually tricking yourself..shhh)...you get to relax and have fun, others think you are developing flexibility...:)