Every morning I get up and think about the day in front of me.  I usually make a cup of coffee, pull out my daily calendar, look at the events, look at tomorrow’s events, and then take a look at my “annual plan” (I have a sketch of 4 or 5 things that I think would be important over 2012).  Then I make a plan of what I will be involved with today. Some of it is easy.  Events, appointments, schedules are simply there and need to be calendarized.  But I am trying to do something daily that I “want” to do–as opposed to things that I “have to do”.  Sense the difference there? For me it’s the hardest part of my planning.

Why is it so hard to do things that I “want” to do?  It’s not that they are hard to do, it’s “hard” for me to identify them and thus legitimize them. Talk about an over developed Protestant Work Ethic.  Hmm.  I stem from good anglo saxon stock and the idea that “duty calls” isn’t all that far from the core of my being.

Here are some truisms that come to me as I think about this—

1.  stop and smell the coffee

2.  be good to yourself

3.  what do you do for “fun”?

4.  come apart before you fall apart

5.  all work no play makes Jack a dull boy.

6.  people worship their work, work at their play, and play at their worship (that’s an old one but worth a post in itself)

If I were giving myself advice, I’d probably say “you work too hard”.  Or, “you need to inject something pleasurable into your life that has value only in it’s pleasure and enjoyment”.  Or, “you need to take better care of your self”.  And I would reply, “you’re right”.

So, for today, I have discovered a raisin in my oatmeal.  I have set aside some time this afternoon to do something very pleasureable.  It’s unfettered, unprogrammed, uncharted.  And if I tell you what it was it would spoil it.

What’s your “want to” for today?  Can you do it with pleasure?

PS on a different, but attached track, “doing what you want to do” isn’t only about pleasure. It’s about connecting with your inner core.  I sat with a friend as they pondered a decision.  They had been asked for something to which they didn’t want to say “yes”.   But they wanted to be polite and didn’t feel like it was “polite” to say no.  But they didn’t “want” to say yes.  Sometimes what we “want” to do is right below the surface and it’s good to bring up to the light and look at it.  It isn’t always wrong or selfish to “want” something (or not “want”).  It is what sometimes referred to as having a conscience.  And that’s a good thing.  In the end, we found a third way for this person to respond which was respectful of the request, but also respectful of the friend’s inner conscience.