Thursday, February 17, 2011

Building Boxes and Breaking Them Down

I have a confession:

I love creating charts, schedules, and plans.

And then I think I love breaking them just as much as I love planning them.

Maybe it gives me some strange sense of freedom when I can bust out of the box and do my own thing! I know in my mind that I am the designer of the box, and I don't have to tell myself what to do. There is no submission/sin issue when it's all just me.

Don't get me wrong - some boxes I've made for myself have been very helpful. Like grocery shopping once/month, or laundry once/week. Those have rocked my world, and I love those boxes.

Boxes I make for my kids that they use work great too. Like in the mornings, my girls each have their own check list of seat work and chores that they are to complete before they do anything else, and though it took time to train them, they have perfected it. I am so proud of them!

How about the checklists I make for myself for a morning routine? Yeah, I think my seven year old is more disciplined than me in this area.

So now, I'm about to start yet another busy season of life. I have added a lot to my plate that I can see is about to start rolling. Usually I can keep the plates spinning, but lately I've found myself needing more time for writing and the beginning phases of promoting my book, Duncan's Journey.

I know in my head that I need to set up a schedule for myself; for when I teach the kids, when I clean, when I work, and when I play.

I know that.

But in the back of my mind, I'm telling myself, "You can make a pretty, color-coded schedule Becky, and post it in the office, but you won't follow it, and then you'll just feel guilty for not doing what you told yourself to do."

Is this maddness?

So, please tell me I'm not alone here.

Who else loves the planning sometimes more than the actual doing?

I'm stepping off the vulnerability chair now. I need to go do the dishes. Yes, I was "supposed" to do my dinner dishes immediately after dinner last night, but they are still in the sink because I worked on my website last night instead of doing my dishes, and went to the park today and then took a nap.

Ahhh, yet another perfect example. But the dishes will get done eventually, and all will be well. Life keeps moving. Maybe it's not such a big deal after all.

1 comment:

Jack said...

Hi Becky,

I think it is important to understand what your boxes are constructed of. I use to live with a friend who constructed all his boxes out of concrete. I was living in his house under his rules. They seemed simple enough; leave a room or appliance as you found it. So what upset Mac? If he came home and there was a cup in the sink or clothes in the dryer, or a wet towel in the bathroom… I think you get the picture. If I did laundry, I was expected to stay home until the laundry was washed, dried and put away. If I had a cup of tea before bed, it meant washing and drying the cup and putting it away. If I took a shower, it meant making sure the bathroom towels were dried and the tub was cleaned after each use. For Mac, these types of boxes worked for him.

I, on the other hand need a little more flexibility in my boxes. If I was in the middle of doing laundry and friends came by to go to lunch, I was not going to tell them I had to wait for my clothes to dry. I’d say my boxes are made of spandex, with some built in flexibility. Don’t get me wrong, I love making lists and checking off the items as I accomplish them. It makes me feel real good. However life is not always predictable and I don’t want to build boxes that limit my spontaneity and ability to enjoy life.

Another guideline I live by is asking myself, “Will it matter five years from now?” How important is it in the big scheme of things? Dirty dishes, or clothes in the dryer do not even come close to building a stronger relationship with your spouse, children or a friend, by setting aside some scheduled activity for another that includes them. This may be why I am a self-proclaimed procrastinator. Didn’t Jesus say, “They will know you by your love.” And a big part of love is the giving of your time to those in need and not letting a bunch of boxes get in the way.