So this week school starts again here in Portugal. It’s a couple of weeks later than in Sweden, but the summer break also starts a bit later here. In the end its kind of the same relative timing, and in any case what is very likely the same is that it means that everybody is back in their normal routine. Which of course also applies to the ones without kids, and in the same way are back from summer vacation. Anyway, it makes me think about those routines.
Cause it does bring up a lot of thoughts. Both on the matter of leaving the vacation period and on the matter of getting back into the normal. The obvious one being if you feel yourself happily sighing because the vacation is finally over or if you’re taking a long sad sigh because it’s over. And that is not the sigh in relation to the routine you are about to reenter, but how you actually feel about the holidays. What’s your actual satisfaction level with the ended holidays?
I write more on that here but for today I feel my thoughts are more focused towards the matter of getting back into the normal. The routine. Work, school, exercise, food, social activities, grocery shopping, reading a book, doing the laundry, cleaning, timings, schedules, whatever it is that routines mean to you.
So what is it to you? What does routine entail? And how do you feel about what you find? Overwhelmed? Content? Stressed out? Hopeful? Or any other feeling that defines it for you and that is what you feel in your gut when the word routine is mentioned. But mind you, not the routines that other people lay on you, the ones you yourself have designed and can control. These are the important ones, as they are the ones you can actually do something about – reinforce them if they make you feel good, find workarounds and new ways if they give you negative connotations.
I’d say it’s really worth some of your time to think about it. Because, one, there are so many routines to be considered, and two, so many more of those have you actually imposed yourself and therefore you can change if you want to. Alternatively, if you’re happy with some of your routines and they make you feel good, take the opportunity to pat yourself on the back for a job well done. And think of whether you can piggy back on the routine you like into other ‘musts’ in life, can you do something else you don’t feel so happy about in the same type of manner? And maybe you’ll feel better about it? So it becomes a plus in your life instead of a minus?
I for myself love the routine of timings. I love knowing what the plan is, when I am going to do what, when I have to be where, how I can order my schedule in the best way. I think in reality it’s a statement of my need to be efficient and getting things done. I want to fit in as many things that I possibly can in between the things that are already planned. It makes me feel efficient and great. To the point that when I don’t have that I feel stressed. So I spend an unproportionate amount of time on planning things that can’t be planned, so I fail, and I feel inefficient and unhappy. So, as wonderful as it is to be on holiday with no super plans, that is only true for a period of time for me, and the bigger part of me longs for the daily routines of a set agenda to be back on. It makes me feel I can be flexible around that agenda and that gives me a sense of freedom.
The other part of me would like to have more plans for what I am going to do with the time in between my set agenda points. I want to fit more and other things than exercising, reading, socialising, pooling, and all everyday home fixing in between the school drop off and pick up and after school activities. I want new routines.
So that’s what I will spend autumn finding for myself. How about you? What are you going to change?