Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Same 'ol, Same 'ol

I'm someone who thrives on routine and consistency. Some might call that being ummm, anal.
I don't often like change, and I'm certainly not very spontaneous. I like when things follow along on the same path and plan, day in and day out.

Unfortunately, life often throws a wrench in my plans.

On a basic level, that's how I try to run my life. Each day has a set routine from the moment my family all gets up, to the moment we lay our heads back down at night. Each week has the same schedule.

I heard Michelle Obama speaking in an interview, where she was asked about her reputation as being a bit of a strict parent. She said it wasn't so much that she was stern or strict, it was that she believed in routine and organization. I immediately felt a kinship. Her explanation was that she thinks a routine and consistency in a child's life creates a sense of self confidence in that child. They know that bedtime is at a set time, and that the bedtime routine is a certain set of actions, followed by a story. Her children know that if there is a parent conference, both of their parents will be attending. She went on to explain her belief that if a child has consistency in the structure of her life, she can then be more confident in her own activities, because she can COUNT on her home life being as expected. When life throws you a curve ball, you know that home can be a safe haven, because it's flow will always remain the same. Consistent and secure.

For me, I could say that maybe it was my role as a daycare teacher, or in my home daycare, that created the sense of importance in following routines. No one knows better than a teacher the chaos that occurs when there is a shift in the normal structure of the day. But honestly, I think I've always been this way. Even as a child myself, I looked for and enjoyed the day more if I knew "what was coming next." And it's how I've always raised my girls as well.

Even these days, when both of my children are in school full time, I still follow a routine. My day remains structured, as does my week in general. I work out every day at the same time. I eat lunch at the same time. I serve dinner at the same time. I do laundry and cleaning on the same days each week. From start to finish, my days are mostly the same in terms of activities. In terms of content-maybe not so much.

Life certainly laughs in the face of plans and routines. It's like just when I think everything has a nice flow, the cosmos decide I need a little disorder. And I'm getting better at handling that irony, and I believe that "I" am getting the last laugh. The best way to fool the universe???

You guessed it. PLOT for the shake up. Always have a contingency plan. Make the disorder a part of your routine. And then it all just becomes part of the same 'ol, same 'ol.

Who's laughing now, cosmos??? Who's laughing now!


  1. I was just pondering this thought today. Am I so routine that I am becoming boring?? I love routine and the structure that it brings, but dh can't stand it and loves to shake things up, GRRRRRR! I'm learning to go with the flow, but man, is that ever hard. I distinctly remember thinking as a child that I couldn't wait to have adult routines, like dishes and laundry etc. What a nerd I was!! Thanks for helping me realize that I am not alone in this world!

  2. See for me, routine and following it exactly....a day where it flows without interuption-IS exciting! LOL But my husband is the polar opposite. He likes adventure and change and throwing caution to the wind. That makes me quiver just writing it. LOL And, I was that "nerd" that you were too. I like the order of my days. I like knowing what "comes next." Anything but that terrifies me!
    There are many nerds like us out there! We need a support group! LOL