The problem with getting into a routine is that all too soon it turns into a rut. Or the routine gets interrupted and then never resumes. What I am really looking for is a rhythm to my days. For once I am finding the balance of accomplishment and quietness. I climb into bed at night pleasantly tired, not physically and mentally exhausted. I feel good about the work done maintaining our home and life while having the time and energy to pursue personal goals. I am spending my time more mindfully. I am having it all, albeit in small amounts.
One thing I am learning is that taking care of myself really makes the rest of life better. Most times working on my personal goals first actually leads to more household tasks getting done later in the day and doing them is far easier. This is a huge shift for me because I have always been a get all the work done first kind of girl. I have learned the hard way that the work is never done and I was making myself miserable in the trying.
The best thing I have been doing for myself lately is what I call ‘Quiet Time’. As early in the morning as possible I spend five to thirty minutes sitting quietly. Not meditating but planning my day, thinking about how to best use my time. I find starting the day with this small pause keeps the day from feeling rushed. When I have more time (which is most days) I usually work on one of my current projects, listen to the birds and enjoy a cup of tea. But even just a five minute pause help sets the tone for the day.
Once in awhile I do the same thing in the evening, usually right after dinner clean up. I retreat to my office and sit at my work table. I typically gaze out the window and watch the day end. It is very soothing to stop everything for a just few minutes.
The rhythm of my days is right for right now. As the weather heats up, school ends and vacations begin the routines will change, as they should. The challenge will be to find a way to keep the rhythm going while embracing the extra time with small child. To find a balance to our days that works for both of us. I believe the key is to remember that I count too and sometimes a mere five minutes is enough.