Sunday, July 25, 2010

Plans? What Plans?

Today I got to thinking about schedules, and how they are such a large part of our lives. As Americans, we take schedules so darn seriously. Work schedules, eating schedules, gym schedules, task schedules; the list goes on and on. And while normally schedules and being on time are thought of as responsible, good qualities, are they really all that healthy for us? Of course, it's good to have some sort of "plan", but is it really necessary to fill in every little detail in our day to day lives?

I used to be one of those obsessive food schedulers. You know the type...My diet was like clockwork. 8 a.m. breakfast, two hours later a healthy snack, lunch at noon, snack two hours later, dinner at 6 p.m. Dessert if hungry. It was insane, and if I didn't follow my "schedule," I'd drive myself absolutely crazy. Not to mention that most days I had exactly what I was going to eat pre-planned out. Thank God I no longer stress about that. Sure, I eat healthy but if I'm starving before lunchtime, I'll eat a healthy, filling snack like some all natural peanut butter with an apple. If I have zero appetite around 3 p.m., I'll wait for dinner to enjoy a nice meal. It's so much more peaceful (and sane) when you're not thinking so darn much.

I have another friend who used to be obsessed with going to the certain times...for certain amounts of time. And she had to follow her plan to a tee or else she'd be upset with herself. Cardio and weights one day, yoga that day. Running 8 miles another day. Now, three or four years later, this same friend does exactly the opposite. I talked to her recently about her workout regimen, and she told me she does what her body feels like doing. She runs and takes walks for mental clarity, and does boot camp for energy and a good time, but other than that she doesn't plan anything out. If she feels like staying in to veg on the couch instead of going for a run, so be it. If she'd rather go out for Happy Hour than hit the gym, FINE. But the most important thing is that with this mindset, she's more happy, healthy and beautiful than ever!

Other people I know live their whole lives on a schedule, as if they are always going to be late for something. Sometimes I wonder if these types of people ever take a second to just take a deep breath and relax. Life can't be fun when you're always thinking and living in the future. We should be able to enjoy the presence, live for the moment and take in all the little things that come along the way. Be a few minutes late on purpose. Don't wake up in the morning RIGHT AWAY; instead lay their for a while, toss around and think about how great of a day it's going to be. Linger a little longer with your breakfast, or walk a little slower to work, taking in all the beauty that's around you. Take a deep breath. Do some yoga. Just be...

Now that I'm done with that mini rampage, I challenge you all to throw your schedule to the wind for a day, and just try and enjoy each moment as is. Turn off your cell phone if you need to or don't look at the clock for a few hours and just go along with the day how YOU want to, not how your schedule wants you to. We all need to take a little stress off our plates each day and dig into a clean (unplanned) slate...

No comments: