A schedule monger no longer
When I was in high school and college, I did not doodle fruitlessly as so many other students did. Well, I did that too, but I what I really loved was making schedules of my to-do lists. Take your typical to-do list, put it on steroids and map it across the hours. I made to-do schedules for the rest of the day (drawn up in quarter-hours and containing items like “eat dinner” and “read Being and Time pgs 48-101) all the way up to the month, semester, even year (divided up by months and containing items like “graduate” and “find job”).
It soothed me. When I got my new job (15 months ago now) and started my various other jobs, meetings, dating, etc. I bought a good old paper day tracker and carried it with me everywhere. It’s pretty cool to look back to a year ago and see what I was doing then. It is way more detailed than my memory.
Lately, though, my schedule-making hasn’t been soothing me.
Ever since Date #4 and I became exclusive, the art of scheduling has started to elude me. Some of you might say this is a good thing, that being so scheduled is being too rigorous and well, uptight. Date #4 is not a plans kind of guy, which does get under my skin a bit. I don’t think either of us is right or wrong, like I might’ve believed in the past (pre-sobriety); it’s just a difference in the way we live our lives. The cool thing is that he recognizes it and understands me. The other morning, for example, I asked if he was staying over later that night. He wasn’t sure. Around lunch, he still didn’t know: “I know you don’t like not knowing, but I’m still not sure yet.” I was OK with that. I merely wanted to know whether or not I should go ahead and fix dinner for myself.
So, part of the problem is that since Date #4’s plans are never settled, I don’t feel settled. If it were up to me, I would have everything through this weekend planned. It’s very uncomfortable for me to not even know whether or not he’s going to be in town, if we’re going to hang out, etc. Not because of him, but because schedules soothe me. They are predictable and I know what to expect. The underlying roots of this are actually one of the things I’m working on with my counselor.
The real reason my schedule-making hasn’t had the soothing effect I’m used to getting is that now that I realize why it is that I do it. I also realize that becoming upset when things don’t go according to plan and sticking to it for the sake of sticking to it are just manifestations of a perceived threat, that threat being inconsistency and instability, which are not actually present in my life.
Looking back at a post from just a few months ago, I realize how far I’ve come. And that in itself soothes me.