With two young ones at home, I get told often how much a “daily routine” benefits children. How a routine at night time is like magic and makes bedtime easy and straightforward. While it doesn’t seem to apply to all children (ask me how I know…), it got me thinking recently about my own “daily routine”, or more especially, the lack thereof.
When I had a job, I had a schedule, a precise time in the morning to get ready and out of the door, and stuff to do with deadlines while in the office. Now, I don’t have a “real” job, I am just trying to get the housework done (with a very limited success), and work on my knitting designs in my “me-time”. It is taking me some time to adjust, and the arrival of the Little Miss threw out the window any sort of pseudo-routine I had in place.
I guess this is a problem common to all mums: one puts oneself at the bottom of the priority list. However, I was reminded not long ago that I need some me-time, at least so I can keep some sanity. And this is when I realised that I actually still have one routine thing I do every day, several times a day: one structured activity which helps me refocus, and brings some sense of safety: preparing myself a cup of coffee. A lot more than the caffeine in the cup, it is the routine in the preparation of the cup of coffee which makes it so special. So much so that I often prepare the coffee machine, prepare my cup and all that… and then forget to drink it because I’ve moved on to another activity / duty. Yet, the sheer routine of preparing that cup benefited me: it helped me relax, refocus, and feel like I had control over this one domestic thingy.
A few days ago, I reorganised part of the living room, to free up a little corner where I could put my little bureau. It took me a full day (well… many little chunks in that day), but at the end of the day, I had a tidy corner, with a little space to write on, lots of light and a nice environment: great for being focused and creative, while being able to keep an eye on little people if by chance they were having a quiet activity (read: a nap for the littlest one, a quiet activity for the little man, that would last long enough for me to take my knitting out). It feels good to have a little dedicated workspace!
On top of my bureau, there are two boxes full of yarn, for two upcoming designs (hopefully), both already charted, pretty much ready to knit… I “just” need to finish a few other designs first, and having these two boxes under my eyes is a nice incentive… I am not giving myself any deadline for these, though, so you may not see them before next year. In the meantime, do you want to see what’s in the boxes? Here is the content of one of the boxes: both colour palettes for the two designs are in there. But I’m not saying what colour(s) will be used where… For full disclosure: the other box is full of neutrals.
And today, as I was preparing the coffee machine (again), I decided to regain control over part of my days. I know it is vain to pretend introducing a lot of new habits overnight, so I decided to start slowly, and first: bring some structure to my “me-time”. So I took the diary out, and opened the task manager on the computer too…
I listed all the upcoming family appointments/activities instead of keeping them in a corner of my brain. That way, I could see what time was possibly left for some “me-time”. I listed all the designs I had started, with their different levels of completion, and what the next steps are, when they should be published in an ideal world, etc. At this point, I got scared at the amount of work sitting there, in project bags… and the amount of work still to be done. Even if this was scary, it was soothing to see it all written there, and to start working on the next-in-the-list thing immediately.
Finally, one of the “tasks” I wrote is “write a blog post”, with a kick-in-the-bottom (aka. a reminder to do it) every other week… We shall see how this goes! Hopefully, you will get a little message from me before two weeks have passed.
In the meantime, please tell me… Do you have a daily routine? Some trick / tool / anything that helps you refocus, and give you a sense of achievement? Please share your magic, I would love to get better at this whole organisation thing!
Aurelie / spinnygonzalez