Lately as the pace of our lives has slowed, I've thought about daily rhythms and routines. Everyone has a daily routine, whether it is recognizable as productive or not! The person who wakes at 5 am to exercise, read, shower, and clean house has a routine, but so does the person who sleeps until noon after watching television until 4am.
A few years ago I wrote about my "ten essentials"--the 10 things I feel are essential to my happiness at home. More recently I wrote about a few smaller things that lead to peace for me.
I've sketched out a collection of a dozen habits that truly serve as the foundation for my life during this season. If I miss one or two of them on a given day or two, it's no big deal, but if I continue to miss them for a long time, I feel the structure of my life getting weaker.
Instead of writing them all in one long blog post, I think I'll post them one by one, so that I have more time and space to talk a little bit about each one. And I'll also talk about how I'm choosing and trying to be sure they're "scheduled" into my day, although I eschew strict schedules. Instead, I suppose you could say I've tried to "routinize" these important aspects of life....so that they truly become habitual to me.
One thing I will also add is that prioritizing a dozen things each day really ends up meaning: that's your day. In other words, I am a finite being (this never ceases to shock me) with a finite amount of time in each day (this always seems to surprise *and* disappoint me!). When I build my day around these twelve things that are important to me, there's really not that much time "leftover." I have to make peace with this reality--with the reality that each season of life has limitations. I spent years denying this simple fact and as a result I spent years allowing myself to live with much more chaos and stress than was healthy. I was raised by a couple of free spirits, so the idea of having routines was quite foreign to me, and as an adult I've had to learn how to incorporate them into my life.
But that's the beauty of prioritization: if you can tease out what is truly most important during a season of life, and comfortably disregard the rest, you'll build your life around the things that matter most to you. And I think that's a pretty wise way to live!
I plan to post on this once per week, on Mondays, and I hope you'll enjoy reading these posts and will chime in with any wisdom you have from establishing your most important habits, too.