farming · writing

Routines

I am happily setting into my summer sabbatical.

I’m also doing a lot of planning for the next phase of my life, the one that will follow this sabbatical: the fall of 2018, when I will have a new job, and a chance for a fresh start.

One of the things I’ve been thinking about the most is routines. Today is harvest day, and Edgar and I spent most of the morning outside. He played with a hose and some buckets while I cut flowers for bouquets to be sold at the farmers markets this weekend. It felt really good to actually be a part of the harvest for the first time in a long while!

I laid Edgar down for his nap at around one o’clock, and then I immediately grabbed my laptop and sat on my bed to do some writing. Today my main focus for writing time was the mystery novel I’ve been writing. One of the things I’ve been contemplating is how to approach my concentrated writing time. Like – should I try to meet a word count every time I sit down to write? Today was challenging – I haven’t worked on the novel for a while, so I was easing myself back into the story. When I’d written over a thousand words, I stopped; I am thinking that maybe writing a thousand words per day might be a good goal for me, but I’m not sure if it should be a thousand words per day or a thousand words each time I sit down to write for a chunk of time. (Any and all advice on writing habits is welcome!)

Yesterday, Tamara asked me to talk the dog for a walk right after I laid Edgar down for nap. While this was a reasonable request, I declined. The reason I declined was my desire to form a strong association between Edgar’s naptime and my writing time. I can imagine being flexible with this down the road, but for now, I want to form a strong and automatic association between these two things. I have wanted to have time to write for SO LONG! But that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy, and I want to take this endeavor seriously.

did take the dog for a long walk later in the day! But I felt proud of myself for being honest and committed when it comes to my writing routines. Here’s to keeping my butt in the chair!

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self-care

Routines: The Making & The Breaking

A few weeks ago, I sat down with my bullet journal and wrote out a plan for my morning and evening routines.

This plan included things that normal people probably don’t have to write down – things like wash your face or brush your teeth. The plan also included The Big Three Things That I Want To Do Every Day – writing, running, and meditating. Oh, and reminders for small acts of self-care or planning – things like laying out my work clothes the night before or remembering to use lotion or perfume.

I am most definitely a creature of habit, though I often struggle to form and stick with healthy habits.

The thing is, routine is good for me. I’ve heard it said that highly sensitive people benefit greatly from a regular routine. I struggle with this occasionally, because I greatly value diversity, spontaneity, surprise. But yeah – when it comes down to it, I am usually the happiest and the healthiest when I have a regular routine.

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I can break out of my routine, of course. I do it all the time. For special events, for parties – but I am noticing that it’s important for me to be honest about what adjustments I can make without sacrificing too much energy.

For example – socializing on week nights. I just don’t think it’s for me. Our farm is about 30 minutes north of Baltimore (more with traffic), and I’m trying to remember to be realistic about what I can commit to on a week night. I made plans on a week night several weeks ago, and honestly? It took me over a week to get back into my groove. And I had SO MUCH FUN during the actual socializing – I loved it!

But the next day, I felt sluggish and cranky. I’d been up too late and didn’t get any writing done or any alone (or just Tee-and-me) time. It threw me way off, and it’s because I wasn’t realistic about what I can handle in my daily routine.

I can be somewhat flexible and spontaneous – ON WEEKENDS, when there is way more wiggle room in my schedule.  NOT Monday through Thursday, with very few exceptions.

This weekend has been really lovely – lots of good time with friends and my little family. And I am ALMOST excited to get back into my morning and evening routines on Monday. (ALMOST. Really, I am never excited for Mondays anymore. But I’m hoping that will change sometime in 2018!)