Lately, I feel like my day-to-day life doesn’t accurately represent who I am or what I love the way I want it to.
At moments like this, I drift back to this strategy:
Interesting. Let’s try that, shall we?
Things that make me happy: meditation, yoga, running, hiking, the outdoors, Tee, Teddy, family, friends, community, healthy food, arts and crafts, writing, reading, service
Things I do every day (usually): Edgar, Tee, reading
This is just an exercise. There’s no passing or failing. But if there was – this is a FAILING SCORE.
I’ve been writing a lot recently about the way motherhood has altered my perspective. Every moment seems incredibly valuable to me now. I don’t want to waste time doing things that aren’t important to me, and I want to put time and effort into forming habits that match my values.
However – I also don’t want to slip into Default Perfectionist Mode. (That’s when I plan out every second of my day in fifteen-minute increments. I mean – no, I don’t ever do that. That’s what a crazy control freak would do. And – well, let’s move forward.)
So – how do I address my everyday habits without switching into perfectionist mode, where I try to control anything and everything?
I tend to have the most luck when I make some tentative plans and then let go and let the universe take care of the enacting of my plan. And now is the perfect time to make some plans, because today I am returning to work full-time – cue sad face emoji.
This is my tentative plan for work days:
Wake up at 4:45 a.m.
Have some quiet, reflective time. Write. Read. Meditate. Drink coffee. Do yoga. Make a fire. Do whatever you need to do to feel peaceful and encouraged to face the day.
At 5:30, get dressed and ready to go, because it’s almost Teddy Time!
6 a.m. – Wake up Teddy and give him breakfast and snuggles!
Leave for work by 6:30 a.m. so you can be there by 7:30.
7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. – work all day, with periodic breaks to text with Tee and to look at adorable photos of the teddy bear.
LEAVE WORK AT 4 P.M. – with rare exceptions.
Use the p.m. commute as time for family and friend phone calls.
Walk in my front door at 5 p.m. Immediately commence snuggles.
Go for a walk on the trail with Teddy. Exercise is key!
Cook and eat dinner with Tee and Teddy.
The after-dinner hour: tidying with Tee (we’ve been trying to make this a daily ritual), music, reading, playing with Teddy, writing, just generally relaxing and winding down, energy-wise.
8 p.m. – bedtime for Teddy.
After Teddy’s bedtime – continue the after-dinner hour activities until ready to hibernate in bed until 4:45 a.m. the next day.
One of the things this plan is dependent on is me taking good care of myself throughout the work day, body and soul. I have a habit of pushing myself to the limits at work, and then coming home and crashing. That’s been my unintentional routine, and I know it won’t work anymore. I can’t be crashing during my precious family time.
I enjoy thinking about what I want my life to look like and figuring out how to make it work. If this plan works, it’ll give me time outdoors, exercise, family time, etc.
However – I also think flexibility is key. Making a plan is helpful – but I know that some days it will all be off track by 5:30 a.m. And I’m okay with that, too. A ritual is still helpful, even if it’s missed sometimes. A routine still provides structure, because we can always pick up right where we left off.
Above all, I want to remember to be mindful and to let every step I take be guided by grace. When I am grounded and centered by my various rituals and routines, I find it much easier to do the next right thing and to experience moments of flow.