Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Flying by the seat of your pants

Frankie, relaxing in a sunny spot -- the only thing on his agenda.
Some years ago I had a friend who laughed at all my lists and planning.  This friend suggested I could benefit from living life a little more by the seat of the pants.  I actually did try it for one day.  And then reverted back to the safety of my lists and plans.

My life lately has become more regimented than ever.  I use all kinds of electronic reminders to keep me on task and on time.  In the mornings, I have alarms set on my phone to wake me, to tell me when it's time to wake up the first grandchild, time for him to leave for school, time to wake the next child and time for him to leave for school.  My little dog Frankie knows what each of those alarms means and he jumps into action at the first sound. In the afternoon, I have another alarm to remind me to pick up the kids from school. It might seem excessive, but I never want to be a grandma who forgets her grandkids -- and I don't trust my memory.

So the alarms may make a certain amount of sense.  But I also have calendar triggers and popup reminders.  Each day of the week is dedicated to some goal: housecleaning, one-day project, clean the car, laundry, shopping, etc.  I even have a rotating weekly schedule of rooms that get an extra bit of attention on housecleaning day.  I have quarterly reminders for changing furnace filters or dusting the tops of door frames.  Yes, it's that detailed.  There's more, but you get the idea.

And if that weren't enough, I decided this would be the year of improving my self-care and I set up a spreadsheet to track 10 items of self-care daily.  After a few weeks, it became very clear where I was failing, and I narrowed the items to three.  But now, I find I have trained my mind to think of all those things every day, and tracking is just becoming cumbersome and annoying. I think I may be able to do this self-care thing without a spreadsheet!

And then one day last week, a little thing popped up on social media reminding me of my plan six years ago to try a little seat-of-the-pants living.  It made me laugh.  Oh how far I've gone in the other direction!

One thing my life lacks is spontaneity.  I know it would be good for me to just ignore the day's task now and then and do something entirely unplanned.  And knowing me, I'd probably soon assign myself a day to do that!  Hah!  I can't escape my own organized ways. 

But it's something to think about.  At age 68 can we change?  I never give up and always try to improve on who I am and what I do.  But seriously, maybe I need to ease up on myself and not regiment my life so much.  Instead of cleaning the car on Wednesdays, maybe I'll just clean it when it needs it.  I could probably do that with housecleaning and laundry and shopping as well.  Could I possibly just wake up in the morning and decide how to spend the day?  What a thought! 

I rely so much on those triggers and reminders.  Do I dare delete a few of them?  I may just try.  I'll have to report later on the result.  Stay tuned.

No comments: