The other day I started a post detailing the process I use for my Quiet Time with the Lord every morning. As I was typing away, I realized that it could potentially be the single most boring post on the interwebz. I am confident that you don't want to hear every single step I take each morning before the sun comes up. So I nixed that (you're welcome), but it did lead me to some thoughts on routines.
How important are routines to you? I am a huge fan of the Flylady and she advocates set times and days for accomplishing certain tasks. I see the importance of it. I am very routined with certain things. I empty the dishwasher every morning, I make my bed, I shower, I do laundry. Most of the tasks I do around the house I do in a very specific order. For example, I only make the bed after I shower. I only take my water glass from the night stand to the kitchen after I make the bed. So, if by chance I don't take a shower until 10:00 PM, the bed doesn't get made and the water glass from the night before is still there. Silly, right?
My husband is a surgeon and he does most things by routine, such as giving phone orders. He does it that way so he won't forget anything important. I have heard him get short with many a nurse when they are asking about lab work and he is still at activity level. He's mentally going through a checklist so everything is covered. If he is ever questioned about what he does, he can say, "I know I did that, because it is what I always do." Routine is definitely needed there.
Here's where I get into trouble: Free time. Time with the kids. Play time. Reading. My daughter asked me the other day if I would play a game with her. I looked at my sofa full of laundry, the kitchen sink full of dishes and panicked! No! I can't play a game! Can't you see the mess I have to clean up??? It's like I can't move on until everything as done. And, let's face it, most days it doesn't all get done. I go to bed with laundry waiting to be folded, toys needing to be picked up and dishes in the sink. Yet I don't feel that I can relax until it is all done.
Which leads me to this thought: Is it possible to schedule the life out of my life? Am I really living if I am focusing completely on checking off my tasks? How am I building relationships with my friends and family if my day is so tightly packed that I can't be flexible? Even tonight, hubby and I went for a lovely trip to the grocery store and a drive around town. I glanced at the clock and realized that it was 9:00 PM and got anxious. The kids weren't in their jammies. Bedtime devotion hasn't been done. They won't be in bed on time. They'll be cranky tomorrow. Yet another way I have failed as their mother......
I am searching for the balance between the necessity of a to-do list (and I do believe it is necessary if I want to accomplish my goals for myself and my family) and the flexibility that is required of me to enjoy my life and those I love. I feel like God has been speaking to me about this a lot lately. I feel that I need to be more focused in the mornings and accomplish what I can before the family gets out of bed. For me, that includes quiet time, workout and day planning. I found this lovely group of ladies on Twitter (#hellomornings) that are all working towards this some goal. I love having the accountability that this group provides.
I still don't have it all figured out, but through prayer and planning, I am working on it!