I ran across this intriguing article the other day. The first thing that caught my eye was the fact that the author mentions a group of people called creatives, and while I haven’t heard that term used a lot in relation to a specific category of people, I think it’s similar to people we often call “free-spirits.” You can read the article here. The basic assertion is that creative people hate the traditional 9-5 job and I can definitely relate. While I am an individual who appreciates structure and routine at times, my aversion to feeling confined puts me in the category of people who strongly dislike traditional work hours in traditional settings. The article references the fact that creatives hate to restrict motivation to certain hours during the day. I’ve never been much of a morning person–preferring instead to wake up at my own pace and start my day on my own terms. That’s just not possible in most jobs where you have to be at work between the hours of 7 and 9am Monday through Friday. That’s way too much structure for my taste. I love the idea of taking random breaks during the day to run errands and shop and then return to work. Sounds idealistic I know. Working at my own pace without being micromanaged is also important to me because I think I’m quite capable of getting work accomplished in a reasonable period of time without multiple interruptions from those who have the need to reassure themselves that I am indeed doing my job. It’s funny how much of the work world in the States revolves around this type of schedule. Working 5 days and then only having 2 days off to recuperate. I tried a job with traditional hours and lasted a little bit over three months because it was way too much structure for my tastes. While I don’t think I would categorize myself as a “creative,” after reading the article I can relate to every single one of the annoyances of having a traditional work schedule. I guess that’s why I work nights. For now at least.
I’m the type of person who really hates feeling confined. I’m not a fan of small places and while they don’t evoke a panic-like reaction from me, I don’t go out my way to experience them. My parents attest to this fact by reporting I was an escape artist as a toddler. For some reason I hated my crib and would often raise my foot above my head to the guardrail and hoist myself over the railing and fall to the floor. Somehow I managed not to permanently injure myself as I escaped multiple times from my jail–I mean crib. Growing up and being homeschooled afforded me the ability to have a nice balance of structure and flexibility. I remember playing outside in our backyard one day in rural Alabama and saying to my mother that we should go visit my grandparents in Michigan. She liked the idea and within about four hours we had embarked on the 17 hour roadtrip north. Totally unplanned and random. I personally know a lot of people who stay so tied to their to do list that they miss out on a lot. Flexibility is a trait that can come in handy because it demonstrates an ability to think on your feet. I love structure and predictability but I’m also a firm believer in planned spontaneity. Those are scheduled times where I get to do whatever I want (within reason) without an agenda. I’m still in the process of finding a great balance of structure and planned spontaneity but I believe it can be found.
One thing that I’ve noticed or rather observed is the lack of boundaries and structure that some parents today have. While there are several reasons for these actions, one of the causes that I’ve noticed is that of guilt. Going through an unexpected event, a nasty divorce, deciding to go back to school, or even working more hours at work can cause a lot of parental guilt. As a result, and maybe even subconsciously, these parents because extremely permissive and relax most of the structure in their home. This is done because they feel guilty and they want to make up for the time they aren’t spending with their child, their new single parent status or even because they have too many other priorities. However they don’t realize that they’ll end up hurting the kid more than helping him or her. I’ve noticed that extremely permissive parents who enforce no boundaries or structures because of guilt as a child is little, soon find themselves on the edge of sanity once adolescence hits. Their kid doesn’t respect them or take them seriously. They feel guilty about enforcing boundaries because it’s something that they never implemented in the first place. Their pleas for the teenager to change his or her behavior fall on deaf ears because they haven’t established enough rapport or even a relationship that requires mutual respect and communication. These parents often find themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place in a situation that could have been avoided if they hadn’t allowed their guilt to get in the way of being a parent. However, family therapy can be a great way to start the process of restructuring some of the family dynamics and even making room for some effective communication along the way.