Friday, May 9, 2008

No Structure for You!

I am an overly scheduled person. It started when I accepted my first job at Allied. After taking two months off from work I needed to reintroduce structure in my life. I found that I got more done if it was planned out in advance.

After starting my MBA it got progressively worse. My life is mostly routine. For the past year I have done the same things week after week. I write my plans for the week down every Sunday, but there really isn't a need. If you do the same thing every week you start to remember what you do. Even co-workers picked up on it. A few weeks ago Heidi asked what I was doing that night, then interrupted herself to tell me that she forgot that it was Monday so of course I would be teaching cycle.

Routine has even seeped into my wardrobe. On Thursday one of the first graders in the class I volunteer in said to another student "Why does she always wear the same dress?" Without realizing it I had a pair of Thursday pants. Once it was brought to my attention I started to look at other areas of my life. What had I started doing without purpose, just out of routine?

It turns out, most of what I do is due to routine. I am sick of it. I am branching out. I am removing some of the structure from my life.

I am back to drinking WAY too much coffee. I gave up my daily coffee back in January. I was pretty addicted to caffeine and felt it was best to stop cold turkey. I didn't like that I was so dependent on something that I needed to make time to have it everyday - just think of all I could do with that extra five minutes a day. Here's the thing about giving up your daily coffee - it's not fun. Even when the headaches are gone. Coffee is great. Why give something that wonderful up? I like coffee, but what I really love is the social aspect of it. I love going to get coffee with my friends. It's a lovely way to break up the structure of my work day. If I didn't go get coffee at work the only time I would get up is to go to lunch.

I stopped running with a watch. When I wear a watch it's structured, I look at how long I've been running and how far I've gone. It isn't much fun that way. Running and doing math at the same time? That is work. I do enough work at school and at work. Running is a lot more fun when I'm rocking out to music and checking out the scenery.

I am staying out later. I don't have to be at home by 8 every night. In fact, I can even stay out until midnight and go to work the next day. Sure, I'm tired that day, but it can be done.

I am going out more. I have gone out more in the past month than I have in the past year. I love it. I have seen dozens of people that I only see when I'm out. It has been great catching up with them.

Don't get me wrong, I still have too many plans, they just aren't as structured. I am having a great time. I have freed myself from being tied to routine, and I'm not going back.


Kathleen said...

Why do you have to go and do that? I feel more normal when you plan!

Thanks for my PIF present. It was fun to see you today!!

bottled_milk said...

I say here here.

essjay said...

Isn't it amazing how those lists can be to restricting? I'm glad you are out enjoying yourself so much!