Spring Break and the Power of Preference

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Published 2008-03-26

Jenny is on Spring Break this week which means I’m kind of on Spring Break. My usual morning routine gets me up at about 5:00 for dog-walking, breakfast-making, lunch-making, freelance-project-onworking, sun-saluting, and sudoku-completing. All of which must be finished by 7:30 am (in time for my morning commute). Except for items five and six, although if I don’t do those the rest of the day is ruined. Fortuitously I’m between freelance projects so with Jenny around all day to help with items one through three I only have to worry about items five and six.

When I was in grad school (age 24), a friend in her 50s (actually my room-mate’s second cousin) said something like “oh I remember grad school. It was wonderful to have time to read.” I thought she was on drugs — “geez I’m working all the time now, aren’t I?”

Oh man I had no idea. My life is end-to-end full in such a way that I’ve redefined “vacation” to mean “I feel like I have enough time to do the work I have to do.” I can’t wait to see what happens to my schedule when the kid arrives. (How do people with children — people I actually know — have time to watch TV? Or play video games? Luxury!)

The hell of it is, I like it this way. Thus the power of preference: you will do more of things you like. If you learn to like freelance work and dog-walking and making breakfast and lunch for your spouse, you will want to do those things and enjoy doing them. They still feel like chores but I don’t begrudge them.

I was recently discussing daylong bike rides with another young father recently. He said: “get in as many daylong rides as you can, because after your baby comes you wont’t have any more time for fun.” I said: “well I have to learn how to have fun with my son.”