I have always thought of myself as a free spirit, as someone who thrives in change and flexibility. I've been surprised these last few years (since having children) that, while I am certainly capable of thriving in constant change (and sometimes I crave it), I actually do enjoy having a rhythm to my life. There is comfort in the consistency of daily rhythm and routine. I have noticed, too, that my kids do better when they can dance through the day to the beat of our daily routine.
I never considered myself a creature of habit, but I am. I find myself falling into negative routines when I don't lay out positive ones for myself. It's part of what happened to me during these last few months of school. I had fallen into a routine of getting up, drinking my coffee and eating nothing, or eating perhaps a doughnut, cookie, or brownie. Then I would go the rest of the day marginally attending to my kids, serving them turkey and veggies in front of the TV while I attempted to do homework - and didn't eat anything myself! Then I would spend my evenings drinking more coffee (or sodas) to keep me awake while I did readings or organized the work I had been doing all day. Often I went to sleep at one or two a.m., and even then I tossed around in bed with insomnia for hours.
Now I'm spending time to think about what I want the daily and weekly rhythms of our lives to be. Do I want outside time to be a part of their daily life (yes!), do I want to bake daily? Weekly? As much as my children delight in knowing what comes next in the day, I thrive in the knowledge that our day has an outline. Not a stiff, rigid one, but a general flow that reminds us that today is painting day, or that after lunch is quiet time.
Beyond that, too, instilling an overarching sense of the natural rhythm of nature - now is the time when we will start planting seed, watching spring start to emerge. It's a time for cleaning out, tidying, freshening up the physical as well as the emotional and energetic.
I want there to be a peace in our house - my mother calls it shalom bayit - that fills us all with a sense of wellbeing. I want that peace to be laid into the foundation of our lives so that when they enter their teens and question everything, as I know they will, deep down we will have this sense of rhythm and peace to guide them, a place to return to when they feel unbalanced or confused. Don't we all need that, sometimes?