We are all busy. Life is BUSY! And if we are not careful we will find that our time is no longer our own, rather it gets taken over by this meeting or that meeting and those emails and these people to call. Even if you don’t plan a single thing on your calendar and leave every time slot open you will find that every moment of your day is still taken up doing “stuff”. Sure some of it is important “Stuff” but some of it isn’t, and some of it that seems important now will ultimately end up to have been not that important at all in the grand scheme of things. I think the majority of the “stuff” will likely end up in that last bucket where it felt super important at the time, but then when we look back we will realize that it wasn’t important at all.
That is why we have to schedule life experiences. We have to actually come up with the idea for a good memorable experience we want to have and then actually put it on our calendar and make it happen. Living the life of an empty nester has really brought this need to the surface for me and it’s something I wish I would have started doing more of long ago when I had more control over my family’s time and attention. Now I can’t go back and change the past but for those of you reading this that still have children at home please learn from my regret and start doing this NOW rather than waiting for some day in the future. I promise you will be glad. And for those who are like me and can’t go back we will just learn from our regrets and do it more now!
Scheduling life experiences doesn’t have to be hard or expensive. Some of life’s favorite memories come from the cheap and easy stuff we have done. For example I still remember the joy of going to dollar movies back in my college days. Those were awesome memories.
With my kids now married and living lives of their own I have to make serious effort to Schedule Life Experiences. And now the pressure is greater because I have to compete all the other activities they have going on. I’m learning to pick experiences that lure them home for family time (again, another reason to start when your kids are little and there is no competition!). I am learning to plan out family activities that I know my kids will enjoy, like going to the Jazz basketball games, or going to see a play at the local theater, or planning a dance party in the driveway for their friends, or scheduling a movie marathon night, or throwing a football watching party when their team is playing….I am learning that I need to come up with a plan and then schedule it on each of their calendars and then they will show up. If I don’t do this and I just let things happen naturally, they won’t ever happen! Because once again the “Stuff” has taken over our lives!
So here is today’s challenge – sit down and plan a bunch of activities (at least one per week) that you want to do with your family between now and the end of the year. Put them on everyone’s calendars so everyone can schedule their “stuff” around them. You will always treasure the memories you are about to create!!!
~Amy Rees Anderson (author of the newly released book “What Awesome Looks Like: How To Excel in Business & Life” )