Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Our Groove

I don't take well to change, which is a little embarrassing to admit because I've heard that "emotionally intelligent" people adapt to change easily, and I like to think of myself as an emotionally intelligent person, and yet I DON'T adapt easily to change. Every time there is a big shift in our daily routine, our whole life as a family falls into chaos for awhile, usually several weeks. The start of the school year last month was no exception.

But I think, 5 weeks in, we've found our groove again.

I'm doing laundry on a regular basis instead of a crisis basis.

I'm doing the dishes between meals instead of letting them gather on the counter all day, and with their gathering also attracting a swarm of fruit flies.

I'm washing the lunch boxes and re-freezing the ice packs each night instead of finding them-smelly and not refrozen- in the girls' backpacks in the morning.

Our library books are returned when we are done with them instead of when I get the "first overdue" email notice.

Those same library books are pulled out and read daily, instead of sitting untouched in our library bag for a week or more.

In the evening, we are picking up toys and the house in general, going upstairs with plenty of time for getting ready for bed, and spending time together reading, instead of rushing up at almost-past-bedtime and grumpily hissing at the girls to hurry and it's past bedtime get your teeth brushed and sighing heavily every few minutes.

Instead of nagging the kids about their abhorrent table manners, we made a sticker chart to reward them for good meal-time behavior.

Speaking of, I have meals planned and ingredients purchased ahead of time instead of wandering despondently into the kitchen at 5:15 and pawing through the cabinets wondering what the eff to make for dinner tonight.

We've completed a couple of nagging little projects (like moving that ever-growing stack of board games out of my living room- where they looked horrible and messy- and into neat stacks on shelves in the basement) and feeling like I LIKE my house instead of like MY HOUSE IS A DUMP WE ARE HOARDERS SEND HELP AAAEEEEIIIII. (See also: decluttering.)

(Of course, it also helps that David and I are in a better place now too, working as a team again. HALLELUJAH!)

In short, things are chugging along as they should be. There's nothing extraordinary about these simple routines, except that when we're not in our groove and these things fall by the way-side, we are all more stressed and grumpy. When we are not in a groove, everything is harder, and skipping one thing (like washing the lunch boxes) has the domino effect of making 10 other things worse.

Being in a groove just feels good. Like relief. Like a train, chugging easily along. Like it shouldn't take us so long to find our groove, but it does, and we're just so glad to have it back. When we are in our groove, we are living our life intentionally, and we're more peaceful and content as a result.

What about you guys? Do schedule changes, new seasons, etc send your family into a tailspin for awhile?


clueless but hopeful mama said...

Dear Marie Green: Please send groove ASAP.



Jess said...

This sounds so lovely. I'm glad you guys have your groove back! So far seasonal changing hasn't thrown us off too much, though it does mess with our gym/dinner schedule a bit, but I imagine once we have a kid the difference will become more apparent.

StephLove said...

I don't think I've ever been that far into the groove. I might do some of those things some of the time, but never all at once. Congrats!

My big triumph today was reorganizing my daughter's drawers and putting away enough of the outgrown or soon to be outgrown clothes so that the clothes fit inside the drawers and the drawers will close. But I tend to do something like that and then rest on my laurels for weeks before attempting another organizational project.

Marie Green said...

StephLove- I HATE organizing and storing the kids' clothes. HATE HATE HATE. Especially since none of them grow fast, so SOME of what they wore last summer will fit next summer and SOME will not, and it's not necessarily by size (size 6 sundresses will work, but probably size 6 shirts will be too short, for example), and UGGGGGGG. HATE.

Also, there are many MANY MANY areas of our life that are not organized, like, at all, so I didn't mean to sound like we've got ALL our shit together. Just SOME of it. ;)

CARRIE said...

I was so relieved by the routine the school year would bring....after trying to keep the 6-year-old, the 2-year-old and the baby happy all summer.....that I had no problem adjusting.

It was adjusting to the summer that was a b**** for me.

Oh, and adjusting to most everything else on the planet.

Party of 5 said...

I've blogged about this before, too, and YES, it's amazing how fabulous life is when there is balance and calm and the machine that is MARRIAGE and FAMILY and ROUTINE just works with not a tremendous amount of effort. Glad you're there. Enjoy.

Katie said...

I love routines except when I hate them. I'm kind of
Cattywampus and it stresses me out. I'm trying to get better!!