I was chatting on the phone to a friend of mine the other day and she was laughing with me about certain behaviours I have! It was regarding our current strict lock down, and she sort of stopped me midway through our chat, laughing at me and saying, ”I can’t believe you still have those routines in place.” I laughed too, because some of it is just so silly and unnecessary based on the current circumstances. And yet I can’t help it.
One of the things that was taught to me when I was a teen, working as a volunteer with children, was that children need routine. That it helps them to understand what is expected of them, teaches them to respect boundaries and can actually make them feel safe and secure.
I am a fully grown adult, and yet there are so many childlike qualities that I still believe are important to have – things that are actually still quite important to me. I often get teased that I am not spontaneous enough – please don’t get me wrong, I can be spontaneous. But I seem to lean more towards ‘how things fit into the life I lead. How will it affect my children? How does it affect my time? What will the effect of it be on my responsibilities?’
Super boring, right there, right? Same as boring, but I have a special cape for it 😛
But… you see… some of my routines tend to reduce my stress, either immediately, or they’re in place to try and reduce stressful situations that may come at a later stage. I’ll explain it like this : Before lock down, the routine in my house because of school was to get up at 5am on weekdays. Weekends, I would ‘sleep in’ till about 6:30am – because I usually used to have my daughter at dancing by 9am.
Our world has come to a standstill with lock down.
Most mornings now, I allow myself to sleep in till 6am.
And this was the very thing that my friend was laughing about.
”Why don’t you stay in bed and let yourself go back to sleep, silly Meg. There’s nothing else happening 😛 ”
Why don’t I? Because if I break that routine, and sleep later, or go back to sleep after waking, then if and when things return back to normal hours, it will add to my stress : it will be difficult to fall back into the pattern of such very early mornings. I may even oversleep one day.
I know myself, so I need to keep working on reducing my stress, and that’s just one small way.
So many other things regarding my routines, stress management and productivity have fallen to the wayside – but due to factors I cannot control. And so I have accepted those ‘breaks in routine’ and have had to let go of them in the sense of not allowing them to make me feel bad, or unproductive, or stressed out. An example of this is that we only have one fully functional, working computer in the house – I need it, my son needs it for university, and my daughter now needs it for school. We can control the compromise regarding who gets to use it when, but if it means I have an afternoon where I have been unable to work on the computer, I don’t allow myself to feel that I have been unproductive.
Initially, this was not my attitude and it had started getting to me in many ways – all the little things that were affecting my routine.
And then I remembered one of the most powerful lessons that I have learned over the last few years,
”Can you control this? Is there anything you can do to change this? If your answer is no, then let.it.go.”
It wasn’t easy. I am not a control freak by any means – and when it comes to my house, I definitely don’t have any form of OCD 😛 It’s chaos… mostly organised chaos… but still chaos.
But I have always been a fixer, and I like ‘to know’. I also went through the stages of taking responsibility for things that had nothing to do with me, and allowing sadness and guilt to weigh me down.
Now? I’m just frozen. 😛 (as in singing the Frozen song… ‘let it go, let it go’.… 😉
I still have my weak moments… but I’m hellbent on continuing to sing… and I will keep giving myself stern lectures because I am still me, I am still productive and calm, and a fairly good person 😉
This is tough on everyone – – – – – but please give yourself a hug. Because you cannot control it. Just keep doing the best you can ❤