“A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days. It is scaffolding on which a worker can stand and labor with both hands at sections of time.”
—Annie Dillard, The Writing Life
We walk a fine line, some of us do, between wasting time and constricting time.
A properly scheduled life boots us from too much laziness. On the other hand, a time too constricted prevents us from the idle moments we need to wander and imagine and recuperate.
I’m a morning person. I spend a lot of the morning writing. Then the afternoon traps me. Neglected tasks stare me in the face, the tasks I need to do but hate.
Well, why not work on those tasks in the morning when I’m more enthusiastic about life in general and save writing, which I love, for the afternoon?
Because I end up bypassing the writing. By afternoon the demands of life have captured me, and I can’t return to morning’s freshness, when my imagination leads.
So, I set out an afternoon schedule: a group of chores from which I can pick one, or on good days, two. Enough time for exercise.
But—some days, or afternoons, I laze and do what I want. No hard and fast rule about them.
Perhaps I can incorporate the quote attributed to Reinhold Niebuhr: “Lord, grant me the strength to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
In other words, to know when to push and when to let go.