Monday, June 20, 2016

My Kingdom for a Routine!

I'm feeling off-kilter--even more so than usual. Having spent seven of the first seventeen days of this month away from home and a substantial chunk of the remaining ten days planning, throwing or attending a graduation party, I'm having trouble figuring out what day it is, let alone getting my (literal) house in order.

To say we've had trouble establishing a routine is an understatement.

It's funny, though. As much as I like white, open spaces on my calendar and a flexible, free flow feel to my days, after a while, the lack of a routine gets to me.

Even stranger? This started in earnest after I retired. Prior to that, routine was -- like it or not --established for me. Maybe that was the reason I felt such a strong need to give my days a flow once I was no longer working full time. Add to that the fact that my decision to retire was not entirely popular in a household where others were still ruled by routine, and a free spirited, free flow approach wasn't winning friends and influencing family members. Not in a good way, anyway.

But now it's summer -- a time of year when routines are supposed to slip away -- at least some days --making way for long, lazy days and languid, sunlit evenings.

Yeah. I can't do that.

Both of my chosen post-retirement professions require self-motivation. No one monitors me to make sure I plan my classes, or write books or blogs or articles.While I'm sure someone would notice if I failed to show up to teach my classes, most of my work is done on my own schedule.

And therein lies the fear that drives routine. What if I let down my guard and succumbed to those long, lazy days and languid, sunlit evenings? Could I force myself back into routine, tunnel my way back to productivity, make myself do something besides lie on the sofa and read novels?

I'm afraid to find out.

Photo: Ashley Schweitzer via Minimography
But it's not just fear that drives me. I love what I do. So much so that the line between work and play is forever blurry. Writing? Can't imagine not doing it. Teaching? Feeds my brain and my soul. Sure there are aspects of both that feel like work, but they are counterbalanced by the rewards each brings.

So....routine. Overrated? Some days. All work and no play and all that.

But I worked a long time to get to this point. And I'm not giving it up without a fight.

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