Friday, January 8, 2010
Dates, Times and Other Meaningless Stuff
Most of us live our lives according to arbitrary timelines. If it is Monday, it is back to work or school and then at the end of the week we all exclaim TGIF (thank god its Friday). Of course, in the general scheme of things, the way we carve up our time ... days, months, years ... is necessary to keep people on the same page concerning commerce, education, etc. The importance of all of these measures of time start to drift away as we grow older. We hear someone bemoaning that Monday morning is looming and suddenly realize that if we don't have a job or a child in school it doesn't really matter what day of the week it is ... barring doctor appointments and other necessary business. A friend recently exclaimed rather joyfully that it was Friday. She still works so this was meaningful for her. My unspoken thought was "so?" Don't get me wrong ... there are some notable differences regarding weekdays versus weekends. My family works and their availability to me is definitely more plausible on weekends but, having said that, I may or may not see the kids and my husband works weekends too. So, I go through life on my own timeline. If I want to stay up late and sleep in, I do. It doesn't matter whether it is Monday or Friday to me. Most activities that I want to do can be done any day and are more easily accomplished while the bulk of the populous is at work or in school. But, this lack of accountability has its pros and cons. It is easy to be seduced into being a serial procrastinator. I have had to begin to manufacture my own deadlines or I probably wouldn't ever finish a project. No one is expecting me to finish cleaning out a closet by Friday. Its of no particular concern to anyone whether I get my flower beds weeded on Saturday. So, while it is definitely pleasant not to be held hostage by a weekly schedule, it can be a little disorienting to have no set of expectations put upon me ... except by myself. I've come to the conclusion that people were meant to have some sort of routine and that society had to come up with ways of marking a work week, etc. because the chaos created by individuals all trying to function on own time would be impossible. As for me, I'm trying to reconcile a lifetime of discipline with the fact that I can now do whatever I please ... whenever I please. And trust me, it is both a gift and a curse. I'm hoping I will figure out the perfect balance of freedom and obligation so as to make the remainder of my days productive and enjoyable. Wish me luck.