Life has an interesting way of teaching you lessons sometimes, and I am going to go ahead and say that this week has been one of those times. You will have to forgive me for what is sure to be a (hopefully brief) post steeped more in philosophy than family news, but the philosophy behind the post related directly to our week and what life lessons have been learned. For a little background, when I am work and have a spare 20 minutes or so, I generally make my way over to the TED talks website (http://www.ted.com/talks) to hear some new ideas from some of the foremost thinkers of the modern world. For those of you that have never seen any of these talks, I highly recommend checking them out, there are literally hundreds at this point spanning all facets of life, but I digress. This week I happened to watch a talk about how it is universally accepted that freedom is good, and that the concept of freedom is generally understood to be the freedom to choose. That choice can be as important as who your political leaders should be or as trivial as what kind of salad dressing you will use tonight, but the major point is that a person is free when they have the ability to make those choices for themselves. All of this is not news, but what is interesting is that nobody really acknowledges that too many choices can become paralyzing. That seems counterintuitive at first – conventional wisdom says that the more choices you have, the more likely one of those choices is exactly what you want. What actually happens though is that the more choices a person has the higher their expectations get, and perhaps more importantly, the more they think about and regret the “opportunity cost” of choices not taken. This is unfortunately something that is brand new and a problem that has spawned out of modern, affluent, Western society where we can buy 175 different kinds of salad dressings or 100 different kinds of cells phones. If you are interested you can view the full talk here. With all of that being said, that certainly doesn’t mean that I want to leave modern Western society by any means, or that I think there is too much affluence, it just puts things in a slightly different perspective and it is completely by accident that Jes and I lived this week with that exact perspective.
From the minute we decided that we were going to be doing this fitness bootcamp, we knew that there would be big changes to our daily routine, but I don’t think either of fully realized just how big those changes were. Nearly everything that we did this week was with the intention of keeping up the necessary schedule for bootcamp, in effect by making one decision (to attend bootcamp), we took away all of the other possible choices of things we could have done during the week. That daily schedule looked something like this:
- 5:00am – Wake up, eat a banana and drink a glass of water in order for the body to start digesting before bootcamp
- 6:00am – Bootcamp starts
- 7:00am – Home from bootcamp
- 7:30am – Finish showering and begin making breakfast
- 8:00am – Finish breakfast and enjoy some coffee together
- 8:30am – Pack lunch and leave for work
- 6:00pm – Get home from work and start making dinner
- 6:45pm – Take dogs to park for a walk
- 8:00pm – Get back from park and have a snack
- 8:30pm – Put dogs up, get ready for bed and read
- 9:00pm – Fall asleep
See how there’s no time for anything else in there? Had you told me that last week, I would have told you that I would hate that. Not having a single second in the day “to myself” is not something that ever sounded good to me. But I can promise you, that this was one of the best weeks of my life. By making basically two decisions (bootcamp and dog walks), the rest of the decisions I would have made throughout the week essentially made themselves. One thing that has always plagued Jes and I is that when we have free time, we tend to fill it with trying to come up with something to do, rather than just picking something and doing it. The limitless expectations of what we could be doing always froze us into not doing anything, so maybe there is a reason I didn’t see that video until I was ready to directly apply it to our life. We’ve got three more weeks of bootcamp to occupy our schedule and then it will be up to us to fill our time again. If nothing else comes out of this experience than an ability to appreciate the time we have together and fill it with meaningful activities, then it will have been more than worth it.
At the risk of ruining a potentially powerful post, I would be remiss if I didn’t at least mention that my Jackets play at Duke today. I can’t possibly see any way that we lose this game, but that’s why they play the games. Durham is Vad Lee’s (starting QB) hometown, and it will be his first game there since getting to Georgia Tech, so hopefully he isn’t too hyped up. In the theme of the rest of the week, we are squeezing watching the game into a bunch of other activities today. Those activities include finally going to the Buford Farmer’s Market, finishing up grocery shopping for the week, taking the dogs on a walk and potentially making food for the week. So even on Saturday’s, when we aren’t at work for 9 or 10 hours out of the day, the bootcamp schedule is dictating most of our day. Based on how this week has been so far, I fully expect it to be one the best weekends we’ve had.