I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my daily routines. Some call it daily habits but the word “habit” leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I can’t help but associate it with something negative. “Routine” is only moderately better as it lends itself to something that is boring. And often my routines are nothing more than a mundane means to get a certain result. I’ve recently returned to my morning yoga routine and I take an afternoon walk down to the bridge and back. There is nothing exciting about those things and yet my life is better for it.
I realized that routines I choose to keep also have the potential to lead to small moments. My daughter is my shadow but she was throwing me off my plein air painting routine. I wanted to spend time with her but I had to get out to paint or draw or something. I was going stir crazy. I finally told her my plan for the day and that she could join me but I was going to be focusing on my work. If she was going to come along she needed to bring something to do.
She was perfect. She was quiet and did her own thing without being a distraction. We talked about art and nature and how good she felt being outside with me. After splitting a PB&J we packed up. That day is a small moment seared into my memory and I need to figure out how to cultivate more of this into our lives.
My kids are gone again to visit their dad for a month and I’m back to sorting out my own routines. I’m working on how to be more productive and meet my goals without feeling like I have to sacrifice family time. Maybe those goals don’t have to clash with my relationships. Maybe they are more aligned than I previously thought if I can be more open and flexible to how things get done. And just maybe that yoga routine is helping me with more than my sore back.