Dancing outside my comfort zone

Many of us spend our lives living according to someone else’s schedule…someone else’s alarm clock.

First, our parents set our schedules, then our schools and finally, our jobs.

As children, we attend school which begins and ends at specific times.  We take breaks, recesses and lunches at the same time every day.  As we progress through the school system, we also change classes at a specific time, study certain subjects at certain times, and so it goes on.

Life progresses (or does it?) and we live in accordance with our employer’s time requirements, arriving at work in compliance with their expectations, working a certain amount of hours, often taking our lunch at a time they specify rather than when we feel hungry or ready for a break.

I raise this subject because, for the last few days, I’ve had a devil of a time waking on “time” to make it to work “on time”.   The days are getting shorter as the season changes from Summer to Fall, heading straight for Winter.  The mornings have been overcast, further causing my internal clock to insist that it is too early to get up.  Then I rush around like a crazy person, forgetting things and having so skip others in order to get to work at least close to my starting time.  Where does it all end (and hopefully, while we’re still alive to enjoy it!)?

Our ancestors lived their lives by the rising and setting of the sun.  Certainly, their lives were physically a lot harder than ours are today, as they lacked the electric, electronic and gasoline powered conveniences we have today.  But they listened to their bodies when it came to waking and sleeping, working and playing and just getting the job done.

Most of the time, my body says that while it’s dark, it wants to either sleep or snuggle a little longer with the cats.  (one of whom took it upon himself to instigate a game of “hide the glasses” this morning in an effort to keep me home a little longer!  If a cat could laugh, the sight of me groping around on the nightstand, and, subsequently, under the bed where said glasses were finally located, surely caused more than a little kitty amusement this morning!) 

I would get up, medicate and feed the cats and pour my first cup of coffee before sitting down at the computer to answer mail and plan out my day.  A quick shower, insertion of contacts and breakfast would follow, as I followed up on any correspondence, figured out when I needed to be out of the house, including gym visits, and jumped into the task at hand, whether it be accounting or writing.

My schedule would allow for a quick task change if either someone needed my services immediately, due to unforeseen circumstances, or if my muse was more insistent than usual that I get an idea down on paper (or, in my case, screen).

Clearly, I’d still have a loosely set routine that was, in some way, tied to time, but the schedule would be more of my own making.  Some days, I might work on my various jobs from 7 in the morning until, maybe 3 in the afternoon.  Other days, it might be 9 AM to midnight.  But the time would be of my own choosing, or that of the part of me which takes off with mad abandon on topics like time or phases of the moon, or whatever might strike my fancy from one day to the next.

I might knock out a short story in an hour or so or struggle over a single chapter for my latest novel for days on end.  But it wouldn’t matter, because my time would still be my own to manage.

This is more than just a perfect day I’m imagining longingly.  It is a perfect life from start to finish.

Granted, the reliance on someone else’s schedule has been part of what has brought me here, now.  I’ve realized that it suits me about as well as wearing a brand new pair of high heels, every single day.  I want to kick off the time constraints as much or more than I’d want to kick off those damned heels! (To put this in perspective, those who know me realize that I almost never wear heels, and, in fact, opt for sandals or bare feet most of the time!)

As luck would have it, my friend, Liz, posted this on Facebook this morning, and I found it as I hit a lull in my writing:  

Seeing this, I realized that a good part of why we allow others to schedule our time is fear.  We are afraid to be left to our own devices to make sure we accomplish what we are meant to.  We are afraid to set our own schedule, set our own expectations, and even set our limits…or not!

I further realized that I, too, lived with a lot of fear and as a result, bought into the expectations of others with regard to my time.

Doing so was not entirely a bad thing as, like everything else, it has been part of my growth process, and I have learned so much while following this process.  In fact, I’ve learned enough to understand that it doesn’t have to be this way, but only I can make the choice and put forth the effort to change it.
Yes, for now, I’m still living my life, or at least part of it, in accordance with someone else’s schedule, but I know that I’ve put things in place so that it won’t be a permanent affliction.

My gratitudes today are:
1. I am grateful for the lessons I’ve learned which allow me to make changes in my life.
2. I am grateful for the people who have come into my life in the last year or so who are helping me open my eyes to new possibilities.
3. I am grateful for the resources I have developed which give me options I could not have imagined even five years ago!
4. I am grateful for the love and support I feel more and more strongly each and every day.
5. I am grateful for having been able to find my glasses this morning, despite Dylan’s best efforts.

Love and light.

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