Friday, May 4, 2012

Being True to Myself: A Free Spirit!

My first thought:  I've been duped!!!  Second thought:  Really? Do people really live like this?  Third thought:  It's just not me.  It may be fine for someone else, but that is just not who I am.

I'm actually proud of the progression.  I went from feeling taken advantage of, to trying to be understanding of another's point of view, to finally recognizing that I don't have to be like anyone else and that is okay too.

I have been very conscious of time management lately.  Is it because I am so busy with so many things and I can't find the time to do all the things that are required of me?  Quite the contrary.  I have a lot of free time. Imagine summer vacation.  Long days without many direct requirements on my time. No requirements? Of course not, just freedom to use my time as I choose, filling my days with family and home stewardships, church assignments, personal study, self-improvement and creative exploration.

I purchased an ebook this morning about effective management of time because I had heard that the main idea of the book was about spending more time doing what one was made to do rather than doing merely what one needed to do.  I liked that idea a lot.  Mainly, I liked the idea of discovering what one was made to do.  Unfortunately, this little book was all about charts and graphs and labeling each hour of each day and adhering closely to the schedule (of one's choosing of course).

Blah........ I can see what this would bring.  I would (unwisely) use way too much time analyzing and thinking and planning and imagining and creating a schedule which would then become a dismal excuse to be frustrated with myself while at the same time eliciting copious amounts of guilt for NEVER once using the dumb thing.

Because that's just not who I am.

I was prompted to remember summer vacations when my children were growing up.  I believe it was one of the things I happened to do right as a mother.  Were our days scheduled to the max with goals set and strict routines?  Heavens, no.  But we did find a way to bring some order to our freestyle summer living.

We simply had "Days".  I'll bet if I asked them, my adult children could probably remember, quite accurately, what those days were.

     Monday:  Cleaning Day.  This insured that we would start the week off with clean rooms.
     Tuesday:  Library Day.  This gave us a much-needed outing, while instilling within them a love of books. Win, Win.
     Wednesday:  Cooking Day.  Nothing fancy, just some fun, little yummy project to do together so they would feel that I love them.
     Thursday:  Craft Day.  Again, nothing fancy; just a little "get your hands dirty in a fun way" project.  Who doesn't love that?
     Friday:  Trip day.  This was anything to get us out of the house for awhile, give us something to look forward to, something which told my kids that they mattered to me.

I am a firm believer in giving children free time to be a child, along with the necessary structured time to help them become productive, contributing members of society.  New ideas are not born without time to dream, to imagine, to explore, to play.

How are adults any different?

I feel blessed to have latitude in my days to explore my own agenda.  I feel doubly blessed to have a husband that encourages me to go in search of my own dreams and talents.  Freestyle living is great, but to be truly useful requires some structure as well.

I am implementing a grown-up version of "Days".  It will contain some parameters, not to be restrictive or keep me in check, but to boost my productivity while giving me the freedom to spend all day on Thursday being crafty, if I that's what I want to do.

In some ways I wish I was the type that could follow a strict regimen to the letter and to the minute.  I'm not.

I must have the liberty to drop everything when I get that important call.  You know the one.  When my husband calls and says:  "Let's have lunch!"


LeAnn said...

I really enjoyed reading your thoughts today. I feel much like you about my usuage of time. I have been trying to find a balance in my life and it's not working. I did feel inspired by many of your thoughts and I do think we need to be true to ourselves. I hope to work on this more in my life.

Laura said...

This had me smiling, I'm the same way. Scheduled to the hour/minute- forget about it. Too confining and stressful.
I'd describe me as a free spirit list maker. The list keeps me focused on priorities and not overwhelmed (most of the time:-) all the while, I can be spontaneous, adventurous and fun. I like that the best!
I love giving my family experiences, and some of the best are unscheduled, spur of the moment. :-)