On punching the clock….

Since the middle of August, I’ve been completely without schedule. For as long as I can remember, I’ve lived life in fifteen minute increments. It’s easy for me to keep a schedule and, generally speaking, stay on task. 
Without this strict schedule, I tend to lose focus. I haven’t written nearly as much as I’d have liked to. Nor have I read as much as I’d have preferred. Yoga and run training are haphazard at best. 
So last week, I decided to take charge of my life again. I created a schedule of every day, Monday through Friday, blocked out in half-hour increments, each of them filled with something that I need or want to do. So far, it’s gone fairly well. Waking up each morning with a cup of coffee and a bit of “emotional” reading before the puppies or husband gets up has been a refreshing way to start my day. Not that I don’t love all of them…but “me time” is something that’s always been very important to, well, me.

Scheduling my time has often gone with a feeling of, “I only have [this many minutes] left to complete [task X]!” which inevitably leaves me with feelings of either anxiety or despair. Now, especially when it comes to reading, I am left with feelings of happiness mixed with delightful anxiety. The kind that makes me think, “I only have [this many minutes] left and I still want to read a hundred more pages of this book!”

Writing is a bit more of a struggle when it’s on my daily schedule. When something feels like I “have” to do it rather than I “get” to do it, I can get exceedingly distracted. Like right now. I’ve been sitting here for twenty minutes and I should definitely either a) have more written or b) be well into the editing phase. It’s a little torturous. I wish I could be far more disciplined when it comes to writing. I suppose that’s a little bit what this whole exercise in scheduling is about.

Working out? That’s a whole different beast. I tend to get very lax with my training regimen. If it gets to be too late in the day, or I get distracted with something else, or the weather is crappy, I just throw in the the towel before I even start. I get especially lazy when I don’t have an event to train for. If I don’t have a reason to get off my ass, I just don’t. I don’t have any races in the immediate future and a slight injury from the last one has sidelined me more than I’d have liked. I despise working through and waiting out injuries. I don’t have a great track record with patience and when that’s the only real cure for this injury, it makes me a little loony. Which all just means that I need to find other ways to work out without exacerbating injuries and still maintaining a schedule. I guess I do sort of have a goal I’m working towards right now, though it has far more to do with yoga than running. Running, though, has certainly taught me a lot about patience…and it continues to teach me patience. I’m used to running miles and miles every week. Now, I’m relegated to a mile a day, three times a week. At least for right now. It’s very frustrating and anyone who’s dealt with a sports-related injury knows the feeling. I find myself saying, “I used to be a good runner.” Well, the truth is, I’m still  a good runner. Maybe what keeps me a good runner is knowing when to slow it down.

So that’s that. I’ve given myself a schedule to force myself to do the things I want and need to do. The real challenge is making sure I have the discipline to keep up with it. Accountability to myself is the hardest part…but disappointing myself is far more difficult to deal with.

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