I describe myself as highly routinized. For my own good, I’ve loosened up a bit over the past few years and more markedly, over the past few months. I do attribute my massive success (and I define success as happiness and daily bliss) to my habits and patterns. This way of life, as rigid as it can be sometimes, just comes naturally to me. It’s the way my system was programmed. Even my downtime, my free time has rules to it.
I start my days by stepping outside and taking a few moments to be present. Up until very recently, I would start my days by grabbing my phone, starting the cycle of checking and obsessing. I’ve worked to replace that habit with taking myself out to the deck and listening. Some days, I do find myself on the screen before I’m on the grass but this part of the routine is a work in progress. Starting the day by taking a few moments to just breathe and be outside sets a different tone—the intensity to do, to go, to be somewhere else drifts away. Try it. A gift I got from my meditation coach and friend.
I come in from outside and flick on the diffusers, usually Thieves in the bathroom and today it’s a combination of tangerine and orange in the kitchen/living room. The oils have become just as integral to my routine as coffee. On work days, I hop in the shower; on non-work days, I feed boys, then fed myself. Breakfast is a piece of Ezekiel toast with peanut butter and a dark roast coffee with sugar and MCT oil. Work days: I eat, ready, dress and leave. Non-work days: I eat and shuffle between housework, Rescue work and catching up on completely junk television. I check my phone too often (working on it!) and I beat myself up for not reading more. I always say: the more you read, the better looking you get.
I’m profoundly a morning person, so whether it’s formal work or not, the best of it happens early. The day flows methodically. Accomplishments abound. Even the downtime is structured. But it works for me. Example: I don’t leave the house on Sundays. The bunny-daddy started that tradition. If there’s an absolutely unavoidable exit of the house on a Sunday, another day of house-arrest is substituted. Adding this to the rituals has made me carve out time for self-care and a clear boundary that I can’t overload myself with more “stuff” for anyone or any institution. It’s my day around the Manor.
My days round out with a short Reiki session for each of the boys and I’m always in bed early. I need a lot of sleep. It’s just a fact of who I am and I’m grateful to know myself and meet those needs. And yes, even the extended vacation on the horizon from the day job will be filled with structure, routines… the rituals that make this success continue to flow. It’s difficult for me to “do nothing,” sometimes to the point of torturous, but that’s something I’m working on for sure. I need to give myself permission to just be, to restore.
Adding to the routine this summer: more outside time, more books, more quiet.
Subtracting from the machine: checking my phone as much as I do, negative self-talk when I do “nothing.”
Now, go do something for you. Get outside. Or come wash my dishes so I can…