“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” —Annie Dillard.
I’ve always loved this quote because it contains a permanent truth. When one of my favorite bloggers, Kristen at Motherese, decided to pair this quote with a quiz from The Happiness Project, I knew I had to ponder my own answers to these questions. I met Kristen on-line and every time I visit her space, I always learn a new insight or observation that push me to consider my own perspectives on a particular topic.
Here are my answers to this revealing meme. I urge all of you to consider your answers to these questions. You may surprise yourself.
Would I rather be ten minutes late or ten minutes early? Early. I adore punctuality. When I am late, family and friends worry what might keep me from arriving on time.
What errands do I regularly do? How many times each week? My errands revolve around grocery shopping and dropping and picking up my daughter at school. I try to limit my errands or group them together so that I am not running from one place to the next. I did that in my twenties and it contributed to a general sense of restlessness.
How much control do I have over my time: what time I get up, go to work, go home, go to the gym, leisure time? I am in complete control of my schedule, after I drop my daughter at school. When she is at home, though, mothering takes precedence. Homework, reading, and spending time with her often set the tone for my afternoons and evenings. My writing life intersects with motherhood and I often feel torn in two different directions. She is getting older, so it is becoming easier to navigate.
How much time do I spend commuting or taking other people to activities? I do not have a commute. I work from my home office. I do take my daughter to school and I limit her after-school pursuits to one activity a week. This activity is walking distance from our home. I am fiercely protective over my schedule and insist that my daughter also a possess a healthy amount of “free” time.
Would I like to spend more time with friends, or by myself? I am an introvert by nature, but I do enjoy the company of others. I enjoy spending time alone because it offers the solitude I need to write. Getting together with friends helps curb my intensity. A good laugh with a small group of friends cannot be underestimated. Inserting myself into a large group of people where conversations revolve around small talk is one of my least favorite pursuits. Though I understand it is sometimes necessary, I prefer intimate settings where I have the opportunity to get to know people beyond the surface.
At what time of day do I feel energized? When do I drag? Morning is my favorite time of the day, especially after a run. It always feels like a blank slate when I wake up and I enjoy knowing that the time is mine to be filled. I drag in the afternoon, often craving a sweet treat or even occasionally, a nap.
Do I like racing from one activity to another, or do I prefer unhurried transitions? I rushed so much in my twenties and early thirties that I cringe at that thought now. I enjoy control over my time and schedule.
What activities take up my time but aren’t particularly useful or stimulating? I surf the internet and Facebook more than I should. I visit websites for pop culture news and flip through People and US Weekly.
Do I want to spend more time outside? I try to spend some time outside. My runs in the morning offer clarity and a sense of peace that I don’t experience when I stay indoors.
What stores do I often visit—for necessity or for fun? I love any stores that deal with stationery and pens. Paper Source is one of my faves to visit for fun. If I see a bookstore anywhere, I often find a pull to go in and walk through the aisles.
Do I have several things on my calendar that I anticipate with pleasure? I am not certain about “several,” but I do schedule date nights, plan outings with my daughter ( a Momma and Daughter evening), and attend get-togethers with my favorite gal pals.
What does my ideal day look like? Starting the morning with a run. Reading. Writing. Dinner with my family.
What can I do for hours without feeling bored? What daily or weekly activity did I do for fun when I was ten years old? I can read for hours. Listen to music. Have a stimulating conversation with a friend. I explored the outdoors when I was kid, often riding my bike and hanging out at the neighborhood creek.
Image: TIME VIA FLICKR UNDER A CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSE
These questions tell us who we are at many stages of our lives, amazing how much has changed from decade to decade. My hourly activities and interests have shifted with age.
I’m a punctual person as well, except when it comes to work but I go in phases, lol. I love naps – I usually nap about 3x a week after work if I don’t I black out at night. Which actually happened last night – I was talking to my bf then everything went black. Lol. 🙂 Have a great one Rudri! -Iva
This must be a “Kristen” day. She was on my mind this morning as well.
Your responses above are quite interesting, but what struck me was your saying that you are in complete control of your schedule once your daughter is dropped off at school. It’s funny, even when my kids were dropped at school or put on the bus, I never felt entirely in control of my schedule, and at times, I felt barely in control of my schedule. I wonder if this is the difference due to single / solo parenthood, two kids as opposed to one, the cobbled-together life of an independent, or perhaps it’s simply me… and you may be far more organized than I.
These issues of control, sense of control, alone time, compartmentalizing something for ourselves… all much on my mind of late. Your meme has me thinking… as did Kristen’s post on flexibility.
I could have answered the same to all of these myself, Rudri. An introvert who likes to spend the day writing, start the day with a run, in control over my schedule, protecting my own time and my daughters’ free time – I am right there with you. Like you, I’d rather be early too, except probably unlike you, I rarely am. 🙁
I love this 🙂
This is so interesting, Rudri. I also clicked on The Happiness Project link and saw that she has additional questions. I’m curious as to how you are using your responses (if you are)? I’d love to make a list for myself too and wonder how I could interpret my responses in a way that would be helpful…I guess I would need to look for patterns.
Anyway, we have a lot in common. I would answer many of the questions the same way you did. Unfortunately though, I seem to be most alert at night!
Until your comment, I did not think about how to use the answers to these questions. But I may take your suggestion and determine if my answers change over time. It would definitely be a helpful exercise to revisit depending on the season of my life.
I hope you participate in this meme. I’d love to hear your answers.
So glad you decided to address these questions, Rudri! And I can’t say that I’m surprised that our responses are so similar. It’s fascinating to me how introverts crave the same sort of rhythm to their days, though I must say I’m looking forward to a day when we can get together in person to share conversation and a cup of tea. xo
Aww, thanks, Kristen. I would love to meet you some day as well. Thanks so much for providing the inspiration for this meme. xoxo
I really enjoyed reading your responses to these questions! I think I’m going to try to answer them myself soon. My friends with elementary and older children all complain so much about how much time their kids’ activities take up — I think you are very wise to keep your schedule clear. I hope to do the same as my boys get older.
Hope you decide to participate in this meme. I found it quite enjoyable and revealing.
I love Kristen too! I would also spend my ideal day reading!!