"Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." A.A. Milne

Monday, March 5, 2012

Rhythm and Routines

Spring is coming. It feels even closer to me because I just returned from a lovely trip south. There it was full-fledged spring. The dogwoods and bradford pear trees were in bloom, the flowers were in full color, and the grass was green and that amazing smell of new earth was everywhere. I loved it. I didn't want to leave. Here in the Midwest, we are not quite there but we are in the brink.

Both the impending arrival of spring and my return home from an extended trip has spurred on my nesting instincts and desires. I have been cleaning, cooking yummy, healthy whole food meals and treats, and refining our routines and rhythms. It is just that time of year and I love it.

Routine and rhythm go hand in hand for me. Routine keeps my sanity. I cannot abide chaos and that is what living without routine brings for me. Things are forgotten, appointments missed, and opportunities slip by without being taken. It upsets my sense of order. I am not into regimentation but I need routines to propel us through the day. Each morning flow the same, we wake up, snuggle, I do yoga, make the beds and tidy, feed the kids, etc. Throughout the day you can find a similar plan ending with our bedtime routine. My kids know what is going to happen and nothing is missed. It creates peace for us.

Rhythm is different but every bit as important. Rhythm keeps me from going into perfectionist mode and keeps us from dawdling until we are running late. This morning I had a yoga class at a specific time. I also needed to do a load of laundry and do the dishes as part of our routine. But the thing is if I accomplished the whole routine, and I could have, it would have made us harried and rushed. That is a sure recipe for crabby mornings around here. So I let it go. I keep us rather lightly scheduled so we can have time to be impromptu and spontaneous AND fit in things that would otherwise throw us into a tizzy. It works for us.

Lately I am discovering a new purpose for rhythm and it is teaching me wonderful lessons. The rhythm of your season in life is what it is and if you fight it and insist it comform to what you think you want, you will make you and probably your family a crazy, stressed mess. Not very peaceful, huh? My youngest child is a high needs toddler. It is who he is especially at this time. He needs alot of my attention, energy, patience, creativity, well alot of ME. Now I have a habit of trying to picture how things should go. I really don't think this is a productive habit because if you narrow things down to how you think it should go, you miss out on allowing them to develop naturally and organically. And letting that happen is usually the better way of doing it. Go with that flow, you know? Logan is teaching me I cannot have things the way I want them, when I want them. He is teaching me ever more each day to go with the flow.

I will admit it has been frustrating. But I am learning to live my life where I am not where I think I should be. Whether it is yoga, meditation, blogging, trips, whatever it is, I have had to learn to make adjustments and deal with the reality of my situation.

Strangely, I find it usually works out for the better.


  1. I also find it works out for the better when I go with it and don't try to conform life to my plans.

    Our schedule is tight but flexible. We have a fairly set routine, but if something gets off (i.e. lunch is later b/c Moshe had a late snack at school, etc.), I don't stress. One thing I do try to keep to is no activities out of the house after 5pm. That's approximately dinnertime, and then we're in wind down mode so bedtime goes somewhat smoothly. It works for now, but, as you know, I'll keep my pulse on it for when the inevitable change happens.

    1. I completely understand. It is a seriously special accoasion for us to do anything after 5pm as well. 7pm starts bedtime routine with bath, reading, etc. and we almost never deviate because it leads insanity!

      I love the way you put it, "don't try to comform life to my plans". Exactly