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Routine WHAT?

If you know me even a little bit you will know that these pictures are not normal for me, at ALL. Other than the week my son and his wife were here, I didn’t even fill out my calendar in March, and the entries I did make are about family dinners and dental appointments and such.

That empty to do list? Scandalous!

So what happened? My February calendar was all filled out, my to do lists were long but lots of things got crossed off. Then I went to a writing retreat where I broke a tooth the second day and which cut our trip short. Then my (favorite) uncle, my dad’s baby brother, passed away and so I made a trip to Nebraska with my daughter for the service. About a week later the kiddos came from California for eight days. The next two weeks were so full of doctor’s appointments that I was meeting myself coming and going and now it’s … today.

I’ve been reflecting on the craziness and weirdness of late February and all of March, and at first I could only see that I got totally derailed from all my projects. I’ve been so far out of my routine that I couldn’t find it back. Still can’t.

But a couple things happened. First, a friend suggested that maybe I don’t need a routine. Which made me gasp in horror. I live by my routine, making the necessary changes and adjustments as life moves along of course, but I’ve always always had one. Except now I don’t.

The next thing that happened is that I started wondering if I should even go back to my “old” routine. Certainly there are components of it that I will continue, but do they have to be done the same way, at the same time, as always? Maybe not.

And then. I looked back with fresh eyes and saw a week with my son, a trip with friends, a journey with my daughter that was hard but so good. I saw that I got to visit with friends and relatives at the funeral that I haven’t seen in decades. None of that can be overlooked, and in fact every bit is more important than what’s on my list.

So what now? Seriously, I’m asking you. What would you do? It’s Monday, and I do have some “musts” this week, and I did fill out my calendar (sort of) and I did make a list but for some reason that list doesn’t fill me with dread the way it normally does on Monday mornings.

The best “what now” I’ve come up with so far is to make the list but hold it loosely. Plan the day but do it in pencil. Watch for opportunities that might feel like interruptions. Reach out to people I’ve been missing, and to some I want to get to know more. Focus more deeply on my Colossians study.

Above all, I must pray. I need to sit in silence and keep praying for clarity, and for direction, and for any roadblocks to be removed that day, among other things. What I DON’T need to do is give my inner critic a podium and a microphone! That voice that keeps saying I’m lazy, unqualified, incapable etc. etc. Do you have a voice like that in your head? How do you turn it off?

I changed scenery a bit – a lot actually – and I’m at my daughter’s house today. I know, I know – the grass isn’t always greener and all that, but I literally cannot sit in my office for any more days beating myself up about not being productive. It’s frustrating, discouraging, depressing, and anxiety-inducing, and frankly it’s exhausting. So here I am, and look! I’m writing. 😊

I’m also with my daughter, and even though we’re both silently working, it’s lovely.

So no. I didn’t go back to my old routine, and I don’t have a new one yet. But you know what? I think it’s ok, even though it’s super uncomfortable. I have a sticker on my laptop that says this: “A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.” Right now, for me, I think that’s absolutely true.

So comfort? No thanks. Strict routine? I’ll pass (for now anyway). I will embrace the uncomfortable, not worrying about “making” a new routine or going back to my old one.

And I will pray.

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  1. Malinda Malinda

    This is wise and wonderful. Praying the new, loose routine blesses you richly!

  2. Thank you for sharing your heart.
    I know exactly what you mean. Sitting, resting, in the now rather than in the urgent.
    I think I spend a lot of time feeling like I have to meet a deadline (podcasts) or have
    to write a whole chapter today, or…. when really, most of my things I HAVE to do are
    self imposed.
    So, it’s ok to rest.
    It’s ok to soak up time with your friends and family.
    It’s ok to just be.

  3. JK Stenger JK Stenger

    Thanks for sharing, Angi. I can certainly relate. In reading, I was reminded of this poem. It always inspires me. Blessings.

    ~ Anna Jane Granniss

    I want my heart so cleared of self
    That my dear Lord can come
    And set up His own furnishings,
    And make my heart–His home.

    And since I know what this requires,
    Each morning while it’s still,
    I slip into that secret room,
    And leave with Him–My WILL,

    He always takes it graciously,
    Presenting me with His;
    I’m ready then to meet the day
    And any task there is.

    And this is how my Lord controls
    My interest, my ills,
    Because we meet at break of day,

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