Thursday, November 04, 2010

The Tyranny of a Calendar

My six year old daughter already uses a calendar. In it, she records her school activities that change by day, weekly play dates, and various extracurricular activities. She has a packed schedule and she is only in kindergarten. At six, her life is almost more scheduled than mine ever was.

I recall my childhood and early adulthood being much more relaxed. Classes and after school activities had fixed regular schedules. Playing with friends was mostly ad hoc. I had so few formal appointments that I could remember all of them. Even in college, I managed to live without a calendar. I didn't keep an official calendar until my mid-thirties when I became a manager and the number of work meetings exceeded my capacity to remember all them.

When I retired, I tried to return to the luxury of a no-calendar life. That lasted about nine months before I downloaded an Excel calendar template to keep track of my numerous classes, part time jobs and family activities. Three years after I took early retirement, I am still using a calendar with most days having at least two committed events.

Over the next few months, I will consciously try to get back to a more unscheduled life. My target is no more that 5 scheduled activities in a week and no more than two in a day. While I don't think I'll be able to eliminate using a calendar, life should become much more relaxed.

For more on Crossing Generations, check back every Thursday for a new segment.

This is not financial or retirement advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

Copyright © 2010 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

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