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The Narrowboat Summer


From the author of Meet Me at the Museum, a charming novel of second chances.
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Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of structure. How important are boundaries or lack thereof in your own life?

Created: 02/11/21

Replies: 7

Posted Feb. 11, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2475

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of structure. How important are boundaries or lack thereof in your own life?

For Eve, life on the Number One helps her understand the ways in which her highly-structured life both helped and hindered her: "previously, any change she had made had been within a structure she understood; it was not until now, on the verge of changing everything, that she understood the boundaries that had enabled her to make decisions easily, because the choices were limited, and familiar." Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of structure. How important are boundaries or lack thereof in your own life?


Posted Feb. 14, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
gwenc

Join Date: 07/14/12

Posts: 57

RE: Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of structure. How important are boundaries or lack thereof in your own life?

For some personalities structure is essential (I'm thinking back on my teaching career.) I always thought of myself as spontaneous outside of my job, but the covid quarantine has made me realize that some structure is really necessary. A daily routine - even if I choose to deviate now and then - has made this step away from society more bearable.


Posted Feb. 14, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
katherinep

Join Date: 07/16/14

Posts: 261

RE: Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of structure. How important are boundaries or lack thereof in your own life?

Our lives are made up of many facets--work, me time, play time, and some of them require great structure to achieve goals while others are pretty free of structure. I think a life with a balance of both types of lifestyle is healthy. I cannot imagine being structured at all times with no times of utter freedom but it would be impossible for my personality as a scientist to be totally random and unfettered--lol--even though there are times I think sailing off into the sunset could be heaven.


Posted Feb. 16, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
flute4u

Join Date: 08/14/13

Posts: 45

RE: Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of structure. How important are boundaries or lack thereof in your own life?

I agree with Katherine. A balance of structure and freedom can make a life worth living. The boat provides a form of structure - boundaries of space, movement and needs. The women quickly adapted to the structure of working the locks, recharging and emptying tanks, the daily maintenance that life on a boat demands. But they also embraced the freedom from their professions, of changing scenery and ‘neighbors’, and the opportunities to try new things without the accountability of a boss or partner.


Posted Feb. 18, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
beckyd

Join Date: 07/31/19

Posts: 31

RE: Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of structure. How important are boundaries or lack thereof in your own life?

I've been fascinated with the concept of learning styles (how we perceive and then how we order our world so we can function in it) for years. According to the proponents, our learning style molds/steers/determines our personality traits. I felt very validated when I discovered that instead of being anal retentive, I was actually concrete sequential and yes need a certain amount of structure to function. The only time I have not felt the urge to "have everything just so" is when I'm away on vacation. Eat, sleep, read whenever I want is great. But I must say, that after a week or two I start twitching to get back to my routine. Perhaps it was like that with Eve and Sally. They had the chance to put their issues behind them for a while, learn something totally new and work through their life stressors (or at least reframe them in their mind). Did either of them ever say they wanted to work the narrow boat forever?


Posted Feb. 18, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ColoradoGirl

Join Date: 05/16/16

Posts: 103

RE: Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of structure. How important are boundaries or lack thereof in your own life?

I agree with what you've said here. Beckyd, I'm with you on the vacation scenario, at first I love it and then I realize how much I like my routine. COVID has changed how I feel about structure too. For me, depression can set in when I don't set daily tasks for myself. One day can just feel like the one before it and that gets me down if I don't have some variables in the mix.

I think it is good to relax structure for a vacation, otherwise life can feel too rigid.


Posted Feb. 18, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
elise

Join Date: 04/22/11

Posts: 79

RE: Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of structure. How important are boundaries or lack thereof in your own life?

I agree with the previous comments - I think most people are creatures of habit and no structure could be difficult to deal with. A completely structured environment would be the military and I don't think I would have done well with that either.


Posted Feb. 24, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
sylviaann

Join Date: 01/14/18

Posts: 47

RE: Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of structure. How important are boundaries or lack thereof in your own life?

I believe daily routines is essential in life and beneficial — to a point. Routines helps me to work more efficiently and have greater control over my life. But planning out every moment of every day is overdoing it, in my opinion. There's a risk of boredom and monotony.


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