When I was a young adult, I tried to do more than possible each day, whether on a bad weekend it was more sleep, or on a weekday more work and life tasks completed, or on an especially good day more gifts to humanity made, or on the occasional personal day more fun than humanly possible. At least this is how I feel that I was living my life. But, I bemoaned the fact that I could not finish everything that I set out to do in a day. Why was that happening?
My expectations were reasonable, not too few, not too many tasks/activities per day. My plans were satisfactory, carefully incremented in doable steps and stages. I was fairly healthy, willing, and wise. Could the problem lay with life itself? If so, could I do anything about that? For a while I keep a two-column record, one column for what I expected to happen during the days, and next to it a second column for what actually happened each day. That was an eye-opener! Days do not progress as anticipated by mere mortal me. THINGS happened!
Conventional wisdom has it that, “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men, gang aft a-gley 'Often go wrong'.”—Scottish poet Robert Burns. This widely held belief is too correct. During my recording of what I planned for my day versus what actually happened, there were many anomalies. A few days that I thought would be joyous collapsed in misery. Some days that I dreaded became treasured memories of joy, or at least were unexpectedly pleasant. On most days I was fairly steady in my progress, but unless I stayed home and no surprises arrived in the mail, external things happened to distract, deflect, and steal my time and strength away. All it took to toss a monkey wrench into my day was correspondence required a researched answer or a phone call demanding this, that, or the other of me. It is easy to say, of course, that is how life is, but I still resent the preordained nature of it, the sense that no matter how hard I have tried, no matter what strategy I have employed, I have been pegged into my own little lot in life, and therein I must labor, until the last breath. Pegged.
Caption: Pegged In Life
by Annmarie Throckmorton 2018