Thursday, April 15, 2010


Life is still kind of in flux (still trying to get a job and decide what I really want to be when I grow up) and I think what I miss most of all about really having a sense of where I'm going is the routine and ritual of it. Let me explain:

I get up in the morning and iron Ryan's clothes for him (not because I'm a 1950's housewife, but because he's feeding the baby and eating his own breakfast). Once that's done, I dress the baby and pack his lunch. Usually by this time Ryan is showered, dressed, and putting things in his pockets. By 0830 most days, they're out the door. I love this ritual. It makes me feel like our family is a little team of people working towards the same orderly goal....and then once it's over, I have a few wonderful moments of knowing that my day is my own until 1700. (Yes, I'm using military time. What? I grew up in a household where people said "Niner" instead of "Nine" when talking on the phone.)

After the boys are out the door, life is a bit harder to predict. My life changes from day to day--there's not a ton in the way of a set routine, and I miss it. Any time could be work time! Any time could be down time! Part of me is very invested in the grad school mentality of "OMG YOU SHOULD BE WORKING ALL THE TIME! ALL. THE. TIME." despite knowing that this is unhealthy, wrong and actually motivates me less.

In any case, despite valuing my ability to be very flexible in most situations, this is a time in my life where I wish I was a little more rigid, if only with myself. No one else is setting my time commitments, and so I have a vast canvas of time--I have the compulsion to try and paint it all one color and leave no negative space for contrast...To some extent a sense of ritual makes this into a paint by number, but at least that's a bit closer to the kind of art I want to create...

What rituals are you guys attached to (I know I haven't got many readers that aren't spam, but I do have some, thanks to Facebook)? How do you create that kind of structure when their is none?


BruceH said...

I'm not a ritual following person, so I'm fine with not having set schedules. On that basis, take what I'm about to say with metric tonne of salt.

You could try dividing your day into blocks. You obviously like to write. So, in your calendar, mark the time from 9 to 12 as "write now". 12 to 1 as "eat lunch". 1 to 3 as "send resumes". Do this until your calendar is full. Don't forget to reserve a little time for reflection.

Of course, since your time is actually rather unstructured, you can feel free to juggle your list as needed. The point is to have something you are "supposed" to be doing most of the time so that you feel anchored.

Leigh Rastivo said...

Where'd you go? I know you got a job but I miss reading you once in a while. :)