Why I’m Craving Rhythm & Routine

Despite my self-proclaimed and well-documented Type-A personality, I’ve always been terrible at establishing consistent habits and routines. (Except for a daily iced coffee. I’m good at that one.) I think my perfectionism has something to do with this; once I’ve fallen off the wagon for a day or two, I write off the whole effort as a failure. I guess you might assume that perfectionists have a lot of self-discipline, and I’m sure some of us do, but I’m not one of them. Unless my reputation or someone else’s opinion of me is on the line, I rarely follow through.

Lately, I’m thinking a lot about rhythms and routines. Just as I’m not good at establishing personal habits, we don’t have many consistent habits established as a family. Of course, with two little ones (and another on the way!), and Evan’s long/unpredictable work hours, this isn’t totally unreasonable. I don’t have delusions of our days running on a carefully-timed schedule or my kiddos marching around like the VonTrapps.

We have Friday night pizza nights, and we are (almost) always at church on Sunday mornings. In the fall, we turn on College Gameday every Saturday morning. Still, even with meals planned and outfits decluttered, even with toys contained and calendars cleared, I’m a little overwhelmed with decision fatigue. Maybe I am trying to compensate for some of the chaos of our current stage of life, but I’m craving a little more rhythm and a little more routine.

I’m daydreaming about Saturday morning breakfasts at the same cafe and lacing up our sneakers for a daily evening walk. I’m wondering what it would look like if Ian knew to expect a little outside time right after lunch, or if he knew to get dressed right after breakfast each morning.

Since moving, I have learned a lot about not to put my value in a full calendar, but I still find that I like to know what to expect from our days. Nothing makes me feel more anxious than when Evan says, “What are you and the boys up to tomorrow?” and I have to respond, “I don’t know.”

The lack of routine and rhythm in our schedules and our hours is making me feel a little out of sync in my heart and soul as well.

So, I’d love to know! What rhythms, routines, and habits are working in your homes these days? Any tips for forming habits, for the typically habit-adverse among us?

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1 thought on “Why I’m Craving Rhythm & Routine

  1. Oh man, I wouldn’t consider myself type A but I find myself relating to this a lot. I think I do well with the “right” amount of rhythm, but I have a hard time finding that right amount, especially when seasons of community change so quickly for us these days (if I haven’t moved, someone significant to our family has). Especially recently, I have really found myself craving some good rhythms (along with a whole bunch of grace, since I tend to feel a bit defeated, too, when my plans don’t go as expected).

    For me, I find a little routine goes a long way. During this season, God has graciously provided another American family living about a 10-15 cab ride away with two little girls Jubilee loves to play with. We have started doing consistent play dates (almost always Monday mornings and usually Fridays if we’re both up for it) and that has been HUGE. Last Fall, the only kids/mommas in my city were locals, which has so many pros and benefits, but I don’t think I realized how sweet and special it is to have friends who speak the same heart language as you (for both me and Jubilee, maybe especially for Jubilee as she doesn’t speak much Chinese yet). During the school year, we have more of a team environment which tends to add several more weekly routines which are so helpful, but even then, I find me and Jubi are often left filling in a lot of gaps by ourselves.

    One thing I’ve found INSPIRING, has been Jess Connolly’s recent Summer/Fall planning sheets (http://jessconnolly.com/blog/fallintofreedom). “That crowd” is all into Lara Casey’s Powersheets, and while I’ve never tried them, those sound a little intense for me. I enjoyed Jess’ guide to help me dream about the big picture for a new season and where I want to be at the end of it, then think through how I can get there.

    Whoops, I wrote a lot. I really want to hear more people’s thoughts, too!

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