Critics say that our kids are over-scheduled, but I say that I am the ultimate over-scheduler. I often tend to push too much into a single space of time.
It's really a bad habit of mine. It's as though I think I can control time. Sometimes I am flying along, and all the things I want to do just seem to perfectly fit in the time frame I have allotted. I love those days; it's as if the stars aligned and everything is going my way. I am not talking about my to-do list, or my plan for what to accomplish during the work day, I am talking about the never ending list of stuff that has to get done by someone in my family (mainly me) mixed in with the stuff I really want to do.
I am talking about power tasking. You know, like when you have 2 1/2 hours to: Have coffee with a friend, run by the pharmacy, pick up the dry cleaning, and hop inside the grocery store to grab the salmon that's on sale for dinner tonight. Oh, yeah, and do it all in time to get to your kid's summer school (or after school activity) and pick up your loved little one (or maybe your tolerated teen) on time.
These are my worst non-Zen like moments in my life. Because, inevitably, the world won't cooperate with my planning, and my schedule and there will be traffic, or, the pharmacist still won't have filled my prescription correctly, or yeah, there's a line (again!) at the grocery store. And, really, all I wanted to do was spend 2 hours talking to my friend over coffee, but that just seemed self-indulgent. See, when I get in those "do it all in the time I've got" moments I get irritated when things just don't necessarily go as I have planned.
It's as if I think the world revolves around me, and it should just all work, whether my plan was sensible or not.
I think we all have those, 'the world revolves around me' moments. Piaget had it all wrong, egocentrism doesn't end once we move out of the Preoperational Stage of development, it lingers into the 'Do It All As An Adult or Be Judged' stage. What I want most on all days is to be a good mother, to be a good teacher, to be a good friend (and wife) and to be a good person. So, how do I end up ruining the spare moments of my day by over-cramming them with people to see and stuff to do?
This week in yoga class, Katie (the yoga instructor) bold stated before starting class, "If you are thinking you need to be somewhere other than here, please leave." I did a self-check. Did I want to be in yoga class more than I wanted to be anywhere else? Check. Could I stop thinking about everything else I needed to be doing (or be judged as the adult that didn't get it all done?) Check. Could I close my eyes and focus on being here, now? Check.
Try it. Don't think about what you need to get done to avoid the feelings that come with the 'Do It All As An Adult or Be Judged' stage of life. Read that book. Bake that cake. Nothing is going to fall apart if you don't get to your to-do list. Have that venti, skinny, vanilla iced-latte with your friend (or yourself) inside the Starbucks, not the drive thru!