It’s been a rough crazy week. By other people’s standards, it was probably mellow, but as an introverted sort of person, there are certain things I need in order to not feel frazzled or out of sorts on an average week, and that is a boring, predictable routine.
I need time to do the after/school evening routine of homework, cooking and cleaning up, time to run, time to write, time to recharge. Of the those, the last is most vital. So vital that if I don’t have that down-time, I will take it at the expense of all the others.
I will not cook, clean, manage the homework for the kids, run or write.
This week, I had a town hall meeting I needed to attend and my daughter’s talent show, and no time between leaving work and attending the meetings/talent shows, which resulted in two late-nights in a row, which for me, is a bit much.
This happens sometimes, as in sometimes enough it's almost often, and instead of be-moaning it, which is my normal course, “Oh, I got nothing done because I couldn’t be home to actually do any of it, I’m so behind, work is so crazy, the kids are so needy, we don’t have any food and I’m too tired to do the things I want to do waaah’ I soothed myself by visiting some mindful websites because honestly when I'm frazzled I'm not practicing being mindful, and mindful for me = happy. The return to a place of mindfulness was a reminder that hey, it's okay to totally be out of sorts. Having accepted feeling totally wacked and out of sorts, I decided I didn't need to stay in that feeling. I took a few breaths, and decided to reflect on what led to this feeling.
I don’t like spending too much time reflecting, my mind is too busy to look back, but here I have a consistent problem that I view as being an impediment to my growth not only as a writer, but as a person trying to practice mindfulness, and a person trying to live fully the life I have.
What I realized is that occasionally my life is thrown off balance, usually on a week-to-week basis, and that I have no counter-measures to it. I see it, I react to it, but I don’t have a plan that allows me to account for weeks where the normal routine falls out of whack, and the things that sustain me fall to the wayside, where the things that aren't nourishing take priority.
First, I love normal routines. I think life is smoother when weeknights aren’t filled with events and activities. As an introvert, staying in more than going out is a more comfortable lifestyle for me. Oh, I love going out, if I can stay in the next few days…
So, yes, one weeknight, sure, maybe two occasionally, but with kids, that’s it. A week of too many events, especially back-to-back, and especially so time consuming, drain me.
After reflecting, I realize I can plan for most of these whacked-out, too-busy weeks. When I KNOW I have a week of too many events and too much to do, what is my plan… right, I didn't have one. I came up with one, though. There's no reason that I can't wake up extra early to run on a meeting night, check, put that in the plan. Spending my lunch time writing instead of waiting til I get home when I know I won't be home before 9 and I turn into a pumpkin at 10, check. Having frozen meals in the dinner and paper plates on hand for when I’m not home or running out the door just as dinner’s getting served, check. Stay up an hour later just to have some recharge time. Check.
Those three little changes to a disrupted routine will give me everything I need: time to manage afternoon/evening routines, time to run, time to write, time to recharge. There's so much truth in the saying that the only time we have is the moment we actually have. It should be spent truly in that moment. There's no logic or sense in putting off the things that nourish us the most in favor of external priorities.
And that is the lecture I gave myself, and is why today, on this beautiful, rainy Friday, I am not frazzled, out of whack, or bemoaning anything.