Opening My Routines

I love a good list. Checking it off is so satisfying! But I also hate lists when life is busy or when we’re adapting to a new routine. Instead of guiding my days, they seem to mock me – reminding me of all the things I haven’t gotten finished.

Image from Frog and Toad Together

If it’s on my list to clean the playroom and it doesn’t get done, suddenly it goes from childhood mess to the worst reminder that we live in a pigsty. If I want to map out writing and it’s on my list but doesn’t get done, suddenly it goes from being prepared and organized to wanting to shut down this blog and never write again.

I took an intentional break in July, which was much needed and helpful. But August has been so, so busy. Unexpectedly busy. Surprise houseguests, the beginning of school, life. I’ve been sporadically writing but since it wasn’t planned, it feels chaotic rather than refreshing.

I’m learning to live openly with our routines and schedule. I’m not throwing out my lists and hopes but I am remembering that life happens. That if I’m stuck with a list, I can overlook the necessary flow of our days. I’m giving myself grace as we transition to full-time kindergarten (harder than I thought it would be) and all that having a set schedule entails. I’m giving myself grace as I spend my days with just Elle, letting her lead and learning our own little rhythms. I’m giving myself grace to remember that when writing becomes a chore rather than a joy, something needs to shift.

I’m sure meltdowns will continue to happen and today I’ve cleared our morning to work on that list but I’m hoping to stop and take time to let that list go, too.

If you have four minutes, I’ll leave you with the immortal story of Arnold Lobel’s Frog and Toad: The List. 

Do you like lists? How do you let them guide you without adding stress?

Linked with Five Minute Friday, a time to write without editing. Today’s prompt is “guide.”