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As a general rule, I am an apparently disorganized person (I say "apparently" because my husband often despairs of the small stacks I leave in my wake, but I can always find what I'm looking for). But, paradoxically, I function best with a schedule. Not necessarily a "bossy list," but having repetitive routines that I can fall into without thinking, for the days when I'm out of thoughts and spoons and energy.

Structure simplifies my life. One of the "sanity rules" that I established while Adam was gone was that there were certain days for certain things, and only one thing per day - art on Mondays, museum or library on Wednesdays, groceries on Fridays, and so on. Everyone knew and had an expectation for each day, so I didn't have to spend every morning rejecting spontaneous outing suggestions, or come up with something myself. This is not to say that we didn't do unplanned things - just that the planned things were there to fall back on.

It was such a good system (for us) that I decided to miniaturize it for daily use. Our days are now broken into approximately two hour chunks - playing and eating and erranding and resting. Even on a hard day, I can handle life two hours at a time - and even though Brooklyn and Tobin can't tell time yet, we've got a few decorative lights around our house (a technically-Christmas star and a string of tiny lights around my mood board) that are on timers, so they know that certain things happen when the lights go on or off.

It took work to set up - but now that I've got an established routine, it's more or less self-sustaining, and we've all begun to look forward to it. I'm hoping it will also help us move more smoothly into "baby time" in June - not that babies care about schedules, but I'd like the rest of us to start getting used to the concept of doing things in small increments and finding a peaceful rhythm in that.

This post is part of the Five Minute Friday link-up. For more info, more posts, and/or to join in, head here.


Dana said…
Great ideas for simplifying! #FMF
Janis Cox said…
This a wonderful suggestion. Timing in short intervals. I just installed Pomodoro and it has worked today. 30 minute sessions with 5 minute breaks, then a 15 minute break. I have accomplished much without stress.
And I leave a mess behind me too. Thankful for husbands who understand (after 46 years he has to understand).
Tara Ulrich said…
Routine is so important.
Jennifer said…
Structure definitely simplifies my life!! I thrive on routine....even the simplest ones! Great ideas here - thanks for sharing!

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