Taylor and Miranda at Multnomah Falls
I just spent a week with my 20-year-old niece and 17-year-old nephew, which was a rare treat. They live in Australia, so I don’t see them often. In fact, the last time was when I visited them in Australia in 2009. They’ve grown up a lot since then.
It was delightful. They’re active, articulate and incredibly polite young people. We ended up with a theme word, one that kept coming up over and over: buffer.
Miranda, a recent college graduate about to embark on a new job, has always been very busy with a multitude of activities and responsibilities. Miranda and Taylor told me that their mother is always urging her to build in a buffer. She schedules herself to the minute, not allowing any time for slippage. Sometimes (most of the time, I think) that can lead to stress.
She and I share an aversion to getting places early, something I’m trying to change. (I really do like having a buffer!) I told her about the time I was almost killed because I was running late and tried to reinforce my sister-in-law’s message of building in a buffer.
Taylor, as is probably typical for teenage boys, likes to sleep until the last possible second. He says he’s actually able to get out of the house within five minutes of getting out of bed. Ensuring that Taylor was up in the morning early enough to get out in time for the two flights he had to take was another way that buffer entered the conversation.
I think that life is easier when we minimize stress. One way to do that is to build in a buffer around activities so that we’re not running around. In the past, I’ve tried to think of that as giving myself the gift of being early. You can read some of my tips for getting places on time in this Gimundo guest post.
Thanks to the time I spent with Miranda and Taylor, I’m switching it up. Now I’ll just repeat the theme word, buffer, when I want to remind myself of the benefits of not scheduling too much in too short a period of time. The word resonates with me and will be a helpful reminder!