I'm impulsive. In fact, I don't think I have any impulse control whatsoever. As a child I spent most of my time eating, sleeping or in a frenzy of activity. Where's Anne? Oh she's either tearing down the (steep, gravel) driveway on her bike, walking on her hands or running around in circles. You don't break your nose three times before the age of sixteen reading in a comfortable chair.
So to counteract this tendency to a headlong assault (in no particular direction) on life, I've become a maniac for lists and a schedule. Not that this comes easily... just last night as I sat down to try and plan out the next few weeks, a familiar wave of panic overwhelmed me. Every job on my list looks urgent. Every job is SCREAMING to get scheduled tomorrow. Trying to prioritize feels like what I imagine it's like to be strangled. Cursing as I went, I blacked out travel days on the wall calendar. There's no time for travel with all I have to get done!
And then, this morning, something very surprising happened. Blacking out the travel days indeed limited my time but it also brought things more into focus. Rage gave way to relief. And rejoicing in this sense of relief, I realized that the guilt I've been suppressing, for not getting around to a job for a friend, can be a tool too. That job for the friend went to the top of the list if only so I can get rid of the guilt. Suddenly the dizzyingly capacious void of time stretching out ahead of me has been chopped down to a much more manageable number of days. Who could imagine that paying attention to feelings could help to schedule your life? Here that's what I thought was my downfall!