Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Rhythm and Repetition
I so enjoy the beginning of the school year. It is, as I write every year, a time of renewal, of fresh starts, of new pencils and notebooks ready to have a brand new chapter filled in. We've started to get into our routine and I'm grateful for the structure and discipline it brings to our days. Summer is so decadent and relaxing, and it is a good and useful cycle of intellectual fallowness. There is, however, an energy to getting back to calendaring every single day instead of once a week and of maintaining household records and systems regularly because one's mind is back into a system of "now is the time, tomorrow will be here before I know it" after the golden, endless-summer opportunities to be completely in the moment.
I always think about the tendency of most women to multi-task, and, inspired by a post on one of my favorite blogs, I've decided to be choosier about multi-tasking and take more things one at a time. I think that way I can better combine the output-orientation that is necessary to be a productive family with a little more process-orientation. By that I mean I can enjoy the process and see it as productive, even if I don't always get to the exact outcome I think I should. I was actually better at this when I had little children. I am pretty childlike myself, so it was easy for me to drop everything and just play. I caught a lot of those moments we worry about missing. Now I hope that instead of the pendulum swinging too far the other way, I can remember to include moments of play in the getting-to-the-finish line.
In spite of the fact that I still struggle to keep consistent, good habits, I truly believe in the conclusion that so many writers have come to, that simplifying and peace in the midst of family chaos come in the form of routine. I am learning to embrace those routines that I think are most likely to free me and help me be more productive, like my morning and nighttime routines. Rather than making me feel fettered, they actually leave me feeling that no matter what the rest of the day brings, my mind is under control because the real, true, most important things are done.
I find most of my inspiration in nature, which is perfect, but not static. My hope is that my daily life, like a forest path or a sunrise or the waves on the shore, will have rhythm and repetition, but that each new attempt will still be a unique expression of me and who I'm becoming.
Posted by Kellie on Tuesday, August 26, 2008