I am a schedule person. A list maker. A person who wants to know the plan as opposed to being surprised. I understand that in life there are many things out of my control, and so I try to take control with schedules and lists. I’m borderline OCD about it. I have a main to-do list, a weekly to-do list, and a daily to-do list. I spend hours creating schedules for my life, trying to figure out how to fit everything in, and what I should prioritize. I’m also obsessed with time on many levels, and am pretty good at estimating how long tasks take.
Because I am good at budgeting time, my schedule works. I can accomplish what is on my to-do list for the day, along with the typical daily tasks. If I stick to it. Of course this doesn’t always happen, because I am human and some days I’m tired. Or life is life and something else comes up. But these days I’ve felt so controlled by the schedule it gives me anxiety. I know I need to get a certain amount of things done that day, making progress towards various goals, and in order to do so I have to strictly abide by it.
And lately, there are days I long for aimlessness. To be able to say to hell with everything else, and do what I want. I desire a stretch of time with nothing to do except whatever I feel like. Perhaps I’ll take a walk, pet my cats, do a puzzle, read a book, or write all day. I know I am currently wound tight due to this, and this imbalance in my life is wreaking havoc on my soul—the free spirited artist’s soul buried away somewhere, struggling for air.
Throughout my child and teen years I had plenty of free time, as most of us do. I read all the time, and wrote prolifically. I made lists, but I didn’t fill up my free time with a schedule. I got off school, maybe worked, and then did whatever I wanted (to a point, I did have parents).
When I was in my early 20s and had the weekend off work, I would take down all the clocks and put them away. This was before we had phones and computers and tvs to constantly remind us of the time. And I felt a sense of freedom. I went to bed when I was tired and got up when I was rested. I didn’t feel the pressure clocks create to get certain things done by a specific time.
Even after having kids I would get week long breaks once a year. Either my mom took them for a week in the summer, or the oldest went to see his dad and the youngest went with his dad trucking. It was summer, and I didn’t work or have kids. It gave me plenty of time to be free to do what I wanted.
Those breaks have disappeared over the last few years. As life changed they just weren’t possible anymore. And of course I love my children to pieces and would die for them, but as all you parents know, we need time for ourselves too. (They’ve interrupted me about 4 times in the last half hour, once screaming for help due to a bloody nose).
And while I get an hour here and there, maybe two, it hasn’t been enough. I crave time where I can drift through the day like a rudderless boat with no plan or purpose. That’s what I love about the quotes from Rumi and Dickinson in this post. I need time to see what flows to me, and to discover myself again.
Are you a person who likes a plan or do you enjoy surprises? How do you find time to be aimless? Drop a comment and let me know.
Happy April Dreamers! ☔️🪴
I notice the words “free” and “time” seem to occur often in this post. Maybe a sign for me? I’ll have to hold tight and wait. Meanwhile, a few random images…