Some people thrive on routines, some can get along find without them. I most definitely fall into the former camp, especially when it comes to my morning routine. These past couple of weeks have come with many changes in our household, so my morning routine has been disrupted in so many ways that I honestly can’t even call it a routine. Therefore, this will be the story of the rise and fall of my morning routine. Please let me now share in my woes.
The Original Morning Routine
A year and a half ago I went back to full time work after being out of the game for about six years of not having much of a daily routine at all. When I started back to work, it took me a few months but I was able to get into a fairly consistent morning routine that I really depended on each day to help reign in my stress. It went something like this: workout, meditate, journal, make breakfast for my kids and then get ready for work.
This routine varied little, and really helped me get a good grip on my day because I was able to have some time to myself and do some much needed self-reflection and down time before the craziness of the day began. I held onto this routine from about November of last year until May of this year. In June, I had a hysterectomy and was recovering for almost two months, so there was a lot of time to meditate, take it easy and ignore all the household chores and responsibilities of life.
In August, I went back to work and things needed to get back into some semblance of normalcy. I managed to get back into my morning groove, but things shifted at the end of August due to the introduction of a new family member (check out my post on Meditation and Dog Training). My calm and serene mornings filled with meditation, journal writing and exercising were pushed to the side to make sure my puppy took care of business outside instead of on my tile floor.
This change in my routine caused a lot of stress for me, which therefore crept into my family life as well. It was a huge disruption and I had a really hard time letting go of the fact that I just needed to change things up a bit. I’m not normally a controlling type of person, but letting go of that hour of control in my life that I had in the morning, that was just mine, really did a number on my mental health. Throughout the entire month of September, I was just a mess. I had random breakdowns, I yelled at my kids and my relationship with my husband went haywire. My poor little puppy probably thought she had entered an insane asylum, if she had any concept of what that was.
The Shift of Mindset
The last week of September, my husband mentioned that I should alter my morning routine for a bit so that our household could get more adjusted to potty training Arya. This will sound absurd, but honestly, that thought had never crossed my mind! I don’t know why, because when he said it, the solution was as obvious as a snake biting my ankle. I was so determined to make my family adapt to my morning routine, that I hadn’t even considered altering it temporarily. It was a selfish move on my part, but made me realize that I really did need to look at my overall life and try to get into some kind of flow that works with my current circumstances.
So, even though I’ve called it the “fall” of my morning routine, I’ve come to realize that actually this is just another one of those cycles in my life that I need to flow through instead of trying to make it fit into a specific sized, arbitrary box.
The New (Temporary) Morning Routine
So here I am now, about a month into a new morning routine that is not as productive as I would normally like, but it’s working for the moment. Arya has finally made it to the point where she can hold her little bladder for the entire night, so my mornings have calmed down a bit where I can meditate again. I haven’t gotten a ride in on my bike for a couple of weeks, but sometimes we have to put some things aside for the greater good of our family, right?
The last month has been a learning experience and I truly hope that I can grow from it and take something away permanently that will help me in the future. As great as it is to get into a routine to help live your best life, one can’t be a slave to that routine or it will end up collapsing anyway. Life is a constant process of delicate balancing and anything we can do to help keep us in the best possible mindset should be valued. When that routine, object or idea seizes control of our life, it’s just as harmful sometimes and can hold us back as well. To all of my fellow routine followers, know that it’s okay to let go and surrender. As tough as it is, it can be just as freeing when you get your head wrapped around it!
Are you interested in forming new habits? Check out Gretchen Rubin‘s books and website. She’s one of my favorite authors and has fantastic information on the subject!
Want to see some of the goals I’ve set for myself? Check out these links below: