Friday, June 3, 2016

The Value of Structure

Some people are free spirits; they are able to live their lives one day at a time and one moment at a time. They prefer it that way. There are days I wish I could be more like that, but I don't think that it's in my DNA.
There is something to be said for structure; schedules and lists (as long as you don't get too consumed with them). Being able to remain flexible though, when necessary, is key. For me, meeting deadlines is crucial. I'm too hard on myself when I miss them, because I worry that I've left someone else waiting. I understand the value of time, both mine and theirs. I don't like it when I have to wait on someone else, so I try to keep it mutual. Working with a schedule keeps me accountable. I am expected to work 40 hours a week at my job and I always meet that requirement. At the same time I am thankful I work with a wonderful group of people that can be supportive when something comes up that requires me (or any of us) to be flexible.
I know this may sound a little old school, but I firmly believe that there is value is respect, in honesty, and in expectations. Our children are taught at an early age that their homework has deadlines and it's important to meet them. We teach them as teenagers when they get their first part time job that it's important to arrive at work on time and give their responsibilities all of their attention. It's considerate when you're sent an invitation to send the RSVP back on time. We all have deadlines and should respect each others.
This past week someone in my immediate family broke their hip, had extensive surgery, was hospitalized for over a week, and just transferred to a rehab facility. They have a long road ahead of them to hopefully get back to where they were, but their life just changed in some very dramatic ways. While in the hospital they received a lot of one-on-one attention, they were catered too, and taken care of in every way. Literally everything was done for them. That all changes this week. They will now face a new environment packed full of structure. They will be gotten out of bed. They will be worked with at physical and occupational therapy (every day). They will be required to sit in a chair for designated amounts of time each day. They will eat their meals at scheduled times. All of this won't be done to be controlling or rigid, but rather to provide the structure they need to heal and get stronger. Yes, there will be tiring days ahead (for her and others), but there is value in structure.
How do you deal with structure? Do you find yourself establishing the structure and trying to run the tight ship, whether at home or at work? Or do you have a free spirit and just 'go with the flow'? Which do you prefer and why?

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