I don’t take well to change, which is a little embarrassing to admit because I’ve heard that “emotionally intelligent” people adapt to change easily, and I like to think of myself as an emotionally intelligent person, and yet I DON’T adapt easily to change. Every time there is a big shift in our daily routine, our whole life as a family falls into chaos for awhile, usually several weeks. The start of the school year last month was no exception.
But I think, 5 weeks in, we’ve found our groove again.
I’m doing laundry on a regular basis instead of a crisis basis.
I’m doing the dishes between meals instead of letting them gather on the counter all day, and with their gathering also attracting a swarm of fruit flies.
I’m washing the lunch boxes and re-freezing the ice packs each night instead of finding them-smelly and not refrozen– in the girls’ backpacks in the morning.
Our library books are returned when we are done with them instead of when I get the “first overdue” email notice.
Those same library books are pulled out and read daily, instead of sitting untouched in our library bag for a week or more.
In the evening, we are picking up toys and the house in general, going upstairs with plenty of time for getting ready for bed, and spending time together reading, instead of rushing up at almost-past-bedtime and grumpily hissing at the girls to hurry and it’s past bedtime get your teeth brushed and sighing heavily every few minutes.
Instead of nagging the kids about their abhorrent table manners, we made a sticker chart to reward them for good meal-time behavior.
Speaking of, I have meals planned and ingredients purchased ahead of time instead of wandering despondently into the kitchen at 5:15 and pawing through the cabinets wondering what the eff to make for dinner tonight.
We’ve completed a couple of nagging little projects (like moving that ever-growing stack of board games out of my living room- where they looked horrible and messy- and into neat stacks on shelves in the basement) and feeling like I LIKE my house instead of like MY HOUSE IS A DUMP WE ARE HOARDERS SEND HELP AAAEEEEIIIII. (See also: decluttering.)
(Of course, it also helps that David and I are in a better place now too, working as a team again. HALLELUJAH!)
In short, things are chugging along as they should be. There’s nothing extraordinary about these simple routines, except that when we’re not in our groove and these things fall by the way-side, we are all more stressed and grumpy. When we are not in a groove, everything is harder, and skipping one thing (like washing the lunch boxes) has the domino effect of making 10 other things worse.
Being in a groove just feels good. Like relief. Like a train, chugging easily along. Like it shouldn’t take us so long to find our groove, but it does, and we’re just so glad to have it back. When we are in our groove, we are living our life intentionally, and we’re more peaceful and content as a result.
What about you guys? Do schedule changes, new seasons, etc send your family into a tailspin for awhile?