Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Schedule Deviation

I thrive when keeping a regular schedule. I REALLY like to get up at a certain time and be at the same place at the same time everyday. I am embarassingly productive when I'm at the "top of my game". But the meaning of "top of my game" doesn't necessarily mean it's the best state for me. It means that I'm insanely organized, stay on my regular schedule, avoid conflict...and to be perfectly honest, avoid interpersonal relationships that would involve or require any exchange of feelings or getting my feelings hurt. It's a state of social sterility and lonliness. I maintain my many relationships but really don't have to risk anything. When I'm not risking anything I feel most comfortable, and I get to the gym more, keep my place clean, and am free of distractions. Schedule deviation, and recognizing these deviations, have become a wonderful surprise for me.

One type of deviation is the type necessary to maintaining a relationship. It's hard to get me REALLY committed to a relationship because I don't want to release myself from my "schedule". My current relationship has caused me to throw my schedule into the wind...blowing away, "goodbye cruel schedule...". I've decided that certain aspects of the relationship outweigh being regimented. The excitement of not knowing what I'm doing and when I'm doing it has taken over. I'm flexible, I go with the flow...I am spontaneous. You might not believe this, but I'm actually quite spontaneous, just not on a regular basis. I might book a trip to Ireland on a whim, or drive to Ste. Genevieve on the way back from Denny's, but my regular weekly schedule is generally set. Or was, now I revel in a fluid and dreamlike schedule that revolves around wonderfully comfortable and usually unproductive weekends.

Another type of schedule devation is the type that inspired me to write today. I got done at the gym early (ironically, I get a little OCD when I have a headshrinker appointment, even though the doc's office is around the corner from my gym...a mere 1.5 minute walk). I had 30 minutes to kill before seeing the headshrinker. I had a brief moment of being lost..."what should I do? Where should I go? WHAT SHOULD I DO?!?" The answer: I don't always have to "do" anything. I can sit. I can watch other people frantically scuttle down the street to work. After less than a minute of being lost, I gathered my thoughts and evaluated my options.

1. Coffee Cartel
2. St. Louis Bread Co.
3. Starbucks

I ran through the pros and cons.

1. Coffee Cartel has donuts that might draw me into eating something that will negate my workout. It's privately owned and the environment is delightful. Their everything bagels make me weep...but their cream cheese is both pre-packaged and there's not enough. Coffee is ok.

2. St. Louis Bread Co. has consistently made me feel like I smell strange after I leave there, which makes it pointless for me to evaluate pros and cons...this one con is powerful enough to rest the case.

3. Startbucks has far superior coffee to either of the above mentioned establishments, but it is a corporate giant and I try not to cave to their delectable vanilla lattes (sometimes I do, and it makes me smile). The main con is that their baked goods are crap.

Coffee Cartel it is. I got an everything bagel with cream cheese and a vanilla latte. I sat at a table by myself and looked out the window. I didn't get a paper, I didn't pretend to work on a project (in my less secure days I would have to look like I had a specific reason for being alone). I ate my bagel, drank my coffee, and sat. I really enjoyed it. I hadn't planned for this moment of serenity, but it felt nice.


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