Thursday, June 20, 2013
Sometimes the Only Routine is "Stay Flexible"
Somedays we do our workbooks at home, somedays we have to do them at the dealership while the oil is being changed in the car. These routine tasks that happen every now and then still feel disruptive to my work and homeschool flow. Oil changes, dentist appointments, annual check-ups, propane fill ups, vet appointments, random weird errands, tasks, and appointments in general!
I like routines and rhythms. Goodness, I even like a good bell system telling me when to be where. I like structure, and neatness, and order. I think it would be nice to go into a religious order that had a strong structure to life - like Benedict's Way. How do Benedictine monks deal with dentist appointments and propane fill-ups - does this throw their whole rhythm off the way it does mine?
Life just doesn't seem to stay neat and tidy, and more and more I'm finding the only "normal" I can really give to our days is "stay flexible". Of course, this is part of the transition from the predictable days of winter to the adventurous days of summer, and this throws me off every year. But why does it look so lovely and manageable on other blogs? Am I doing it all wrong?
Somedays the routine gets thrown off for what feels like a "good" or "fun" reason, like when we have a field trip to the beach, or we drive 45 minutes each way for a homeschool chess club but it's so much fun it makes it worth it. Last minute invites to play dates and amusement parks and sleep overs call for flexibility, but the result is fun.
Or there are the times when it's not fun, like when we are in the hospital waiting room for hours while my sister is having her tonsils removed. These are times that are decidedly not fun, but of course you need to make yourself available to help people in those times. The times when you get a last minute call to rescue someone who's car has died on the highway, or to go feed someone's cat because they missed their flight home, or bring them soup and check their fever, or worse of all to meet them at the hospital because they think they have weird chest pain. People will need you, and you'll have to drop everything to help - and that seriously messes up the routine!
We also get called on to help with things: move a piano, help tow a recreational vehicle for a friend, collect book donations for a future charity sale, etc. All the many times that people need just a little bit of help, and of course you make time! That's the kind of world I want to live in, where people show up to help each other, to do the good stuff that makes it all a bit of a better world.
And then there are the days when schoolwork is abandoned because there is other work I need to get done, like working on the yard of our rental house.
With two houses to care for, there are plenty of tasks to be done or to find someone else to do. And I can't seem to get that work to always fit into the boxes of my routine that I wish it would.
So .... I wish this post was a lovely "the rhythm of our days" type of thing with beautiful pictures of tea time and reading time and a sweet nature table photo thrown in for extra aesthetic value.
But that's not my life. This crazy, flexible, be there for people and do as much as I can life is the one I'm actually living. Flexibly.