Monday, August 3, 2009


I have a habit of thinking ahead. Far ahead. This is helpful in many ways; it means I'm usually well-prepared for meetings, deadlines, trips, DVR-ing important episodes of Anthony Bourdain's show, etc. But it has its drawbacks.

In recent weeks I've been making plans for September, October, and November. I've calculated and budgeted my vacation time through the end of December. Today I forced myself to take a breath and realized: it is August 3rd. August. Right now. If I don't watch out, I'm going to miss the rest of this summer while my brain continues to function two months in the future.

Perhaps this can become an extension of my curious, newest endeavor: becoming less efficient. I recently bought an excellent pedometer on a friend's recommendation. My goal each day is to walk at least 10,000 steps, but I realize that some days it's not going to be possible. On the weekend I can do this easily. On a workday, with 90% of my job depending on a computer, it's a challenge. Even a designated walk or hike, weather permitting, doesn't completely make up for a day at the desk. And so, I find myself going out of my way to be less efficient. Time for a bathroom break - why not walk across campus to another building, go up to the second floor, and use that restroom? Need to wash my lunch dishes and refill my water bottle - why don't I make two separate trips for that?

I know suggestions for adding more walking into one's day are common sense, but I never considered the degree to which many of them contradict my current way of thinking. We're so well-programmed to make the most of every second of our time. It's a jarring shift in viewpoint. It's strange to walk upstairs at home, realize I forgot to bring something I was going to put away ... and instead of being annoyed, view it as a bonus trip. Strange, and strangely refreshing.

To broaden this philosophy, I am going to take some time out every day to reflect on the fact that it is summer, and I need to bask in it. Even if it's cold and raining. (It's not today!) I'm going to make sure everything I need to do for upcoming months gets scheduled in my calendar, and then I'm going to make myself not think about it for awhile. August. Wow, State Fair hasn't even begun yet.


Legdahli said...

I love it, B! I used to have a pedometer, who knows where it is now! It was great setting goals and being able to meet or exceed them. You're right though, it causes a total change in your thinking. Parking across the lot at a store etc. Enjoy Summer - but I'm excited to hear what your plans for the rest of the year will be!!!

Allison said...

It's always a tug of war, right? Saving time v. slowing down... sometimes I wish I was a Medieval peasant. Minus the plague and all that.

Kristina said...

I like this post.