Thursday, February 19, 2009

The routine of me

I'll admit it. I like a routine. My kids do, too. They love to know what to expect and what's expected of them. For instance, most days they wake up before the sun at 6am (I mean every day without an alarm), pick two recorded shows to watch based on the date (even or odd day determines who picks first), breakfast, get dressed, make bed, brush teeth, play, and leave for school. Same sort of thing for nighttime. Fridays are pancake day. Sunday we change sheets. Monday is gym class. Etc. Etc. Routine is comforting and productive and big part of our lives and a good thing.

I've watched countless Supernanny shows where the family is a total chaotic mess with almost no schedule, rules, or discipline. And, what is one of the first things she does? She sets up a routine, like when to wake up, eat breakfast, play time, homework, etc. If you do this unacceptable thing, then this consequence happens. At night, she insists on a bedtime routine like bath, reading, tuck in to bed - that sort of stuff. It always helps the family turn things around. I could go on and on why I believe that structure leads to more secure and confident kids, but that's not what's on my mind.

The thing is, how come I can be so good about that stuff with my kids, but I tend to neglect that in my life? And, I'm not talking about necessary and mundane things doing laundry on Saturdays or paying bills on certain dates. I'm referring to scheduling the good things - food for the soul stuff - ME stuff. I used to be so good at that but recently it's completely lacking, and frankly, I'm feeling rather neglected. I need to make a change. And, it starts with me.

Having a daily life that revolves around dropping kids off at school, doing this and that chore at home, working on the computer, and picking them up from school is hardly a stimulating fulfilling kind of day. It's down right boring. And, bit by bit, it can really get to me and so many others I know. Is it a mommy trap that we all fall into? It's been four months since I went to the chiropractor, which always makes me feel a million times better, so why in the world do I wait so long to go? Am I waiting for my back to go out and be in total misery? My weekly breakfast with two of my closest friends? Um, I think once this year? I won't even go into how often I get myself over to the gym lately. Yoga, one of my most favorite things? Humm, almost a year. I'm so ashamed of myself. No wonder I feel so blue and insecure and unmotivated and blah lately. I'm not even talking about the constant winter sickness in the family, dire economy news, job in limbo, or the what-am-I-going-to-do-for-money worries - many people I talk to are feeling the same way. But, all that yucky stuff I can't control. My own happiness? That's in my own hands.

So, what's the solution? Spend two weeks alone at a mediation relaxation spa resort in Sedona reading spiritual books, journaling, eating organic meals, long nature hikes, and tai chi? Well, aaah, maybe some day (it's on my list of places to go). Sadly, right now it's just not realistic. But, making a point to do little things like sticking with certain gym days, planning ahead for dinners with the girlfriends, having friends over to the house even if it's messy and not gourmet, are all things I can do right now. I certainly owe it to myself and now is the time to get crackin' as even the simple hope of that puts a welcome smile on my face.

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