A day removed and looking ahead – to the agenda for the year, coordinating travel plans, planning for projects and incorporating the tasks of the fellowship into everyday life. Enduring loyalty to the practice of spontaneity is challenged as the logistics of living in multiple locations, managing several businesses and the juggling act of parenthood add to the complexity of daily life. Reflecting back on the tenets of my profession, the integration of structure and function looms as a friendly shadow on the walls of my schedule.
I value the ability and willingness to say yes to last-minute events, join in on an unexpected adventure and practice flexibility in embracing life’s unfolding. With ever increasing urgency, I am learning that baseline establishment of structure can grant a greater sense of security with patterns of predictability that open space for moments of freedom. Seeing the year laid out with trips and tasks makes clearer the boundaries required for successful completion. Though I like to think, and often attempt, to do everything, I am accepting the trade-offs that accompany a quest for excellence.
The rejection of an activity is at times voluntary and at others imposed. With a heavy dose of humility, I have accepted limitations, grateful to find them accompanied by an enduring sense of relief, outlasting the initial disappointment. Reflecting my own tendencies, my oldest son struggles with the tasks of homework, particularly a project spanning the course of weeks or months. Though gifted with ample ability, he is challenged by the difficult duo of procrastination and alluring alternate activities. We have struggled for years to find a clear path forward, seeking to nurture self-discipline and find intrinsic motivation but repeatedly hitting barriers of frustration.
For the both of us, it is necessary to have framework laid out. To have external motivators and accountability as guides. To have a limitation placed, gently but firmly, holding space for that which must be done as priority even when other, more attractive options glimmer in the distance. Crafting solid structure to encourage optimal function can look like a planner, a schedule, making appointments for that which we assume we will just get done but often push to the margins. Removing barriers starts as internal work, acknowledging our natural tendencies and the blocks we create mentally and emotionally. Creating ease of flow continues by addressing obstacles between us and our environment, improving ease of access to space, time, tools and support.
Building habits and patterns that improve our reliability, efficiency and efficacy can actually serve the spontaneity we desire. Liberated from the subconscious worry of tasks pending completion, we can wholeheartedly participate in the unexpected unfolding of life. May we develop an affinity for the framework and the freedom it provides, fostering focus and organization to optimize function, purpose and possibility.