She was a regular during the drop-in times at the local tennis club. One day, the club announced that instead of just showing up to play (the definition of “drop-in”), members had to schedule themselves for drop-in time.
As soon as this was announced, my mom instantly felt turned off. What she liked about drop-in tennis was that the decision to go was up to her. There was no obligation–even though she ended up going almost every week. She didn’t have to answer to anyone if she didn’t show. No commitment, no pressure. And now that she felt she had to commit, she didn’t want to.
As she explained this to me on the phone, I couldn’t help but chuckle, because I completely understood what she was coming from as an HSP.
I think this is also why I dislike working in a traditional office environment. At one job, I had to log in and log out of a computer when I took lunch, so my lunch times could be tabulated. I couldn’t stand feeling like every minute of my day was being counted. For example, if I took an extra 10 minutes of lunch time, why couldn’t I just stay 10 minutes longer at the end of the day? Being held to such a strict schedule made me feel trapped and controlled.
Consider about what we know about HSPs. We don’t like feeling controlled, we don’t like having too much to do, and we don’t like feeling overwhelmed. When I have something to do on my schedule, I can’t stop thinking about it all day. Even if it’s just one thing, I base my whole day on it. And having MORE than one thing scheduled in a day? I instantly feel my stress rise.
Having a clear day with nothing to do feels like a dream. No stress, no obligations, and I can make my own decisions. Ahhhh.