eatingWork has conditioned me to hate scheduling.

To hate the way everything needs to be “calendered,” the way that my free time tends to be parted-out in snatches here and there.  These days I get the greatest sense of relaxation and freedom-from-commitment when I have exactly nothing scheduled.  I can have things planned, just not scheduled.  Knowing that I have to get something done, or go here or there, at some point over a weekend is not as bad as knowing that I have three successive “appointments” which will consume my entire Saturday.

Call it my internal protest against how wall-to-wall we tend to book ourselves.  Even leisure can loom like an obligation if it’s very neatly planned to occur in the three hours between the trip to Home Depot to replace a screen and the promise you made to help a buddy replace a dishwasher.  It’s also partly my strange obsessive notions about time and getting things done.  I like to be done with something.  When I’m finished with something I like to take step back, admire it, and enjoy a quick moment of zero-obligation.

At work I’m usually booked in thirty-minute increments, and more often than not my entire day will be a series of quick-turns between the current meeting and the next.  Over and over again, each minute of lateness becoming additive with successive obligations and no breaks in between.  It’s not rare that by 4:30pm I’m running a full 7min behind and I’ve still not had a spare moment to answer email or make a phone call.  Sounds silly to say this is tiring when there are guys digging pools all day in Florida, but it is.

And so work has soured me on the whole thing.  Even if the obligation is to go somewhere and have a good time, I’ll sometimes be put-off by the “deadline.”  Silly, huh?

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