For the past couple weeks, I started to become mentally bogged down in the monotony of my daily routine. It's not so much what I do each day, actually I really enjoy the things I do. I love my job and my career. I absolutely love (duh...) the time I get to spend with my kids (even if it's mostly in the car or while making dinner). I'm also lucky enough to get a spin class in multiple times per week.
The problem is that the things I do and the order in which I do them almost never changes. Each day looks like an exact replica of the day before or after it. The days run together and are undistinguishable aside from the changing numbers on the calendar. My schedule is boring, tedious, and predictable.
What also bothers me is the fact that my days are so FULL. My schedule is crammed from 5:45am to 9:00p.m. when the kids go to bed. After that, I just might get in a chore or two before I crash/surf pinterest until way past my bedtime. That is assuming I don't have an urgent motion to write or respond to. There is barely any "flex" time or "floating" free time. If I'm not at work, I'm commuting to/from work, dressing myself or the kids, giving baths, making dinner, putting to bed... and all according to a repetitious, predictable schedule.
I'm not really trying to complain. I realize that I am amazingly lucky in so many ways. I just need to figure out how to escape the monotony of repetition so I don't get stuck in a rut. On good days, I'll stop for a moment to reflect on things. Sometimes, I'll rock my baby to sleep, admire his chubby face and his freakishly long lashes, without worrying about my to-do list. Other times, I'll play a card game with Jacob, enjoy his innocence, and just be present in the moment with him.
That is....when he's not acting like this:
And then today, I stepped back for a moment to appreciate the things in my life that usually go without notice-- my mom. I was raiding my mom's pantry this afternoon when I saw the markings on her wall showing our growth when we were younger. Right there beside my name and the names of my siblings, were the names and growth markings of my own children. In all honestly, she really is a second mom to them. And in having such a wonderful person play second mom, I really hit the jackpot.
It really struck me how fortunate (like 1/1,000 fortunate) I am to have a mom so devoted, to not just me, but to my own children. She loves them with as much strength, passion, and even more patience than I do. I sometimes write her off as eccentric and old school, but I also completely take for granted her capacity to love, her strength of character, and her constant service. She is an amazingly strong, positive, smiling influence on us all. We have no idea how good we got it. I just need to take more time each day to focus on these wonderful things in my life.
I guess the challenge, in the face of a repetitious routine, is to take a second to climb out of the deep pit that is my monotonous routine and get my bearings and focus on what is really going on. Maybe I also need to add a little something different to each day to make it stand out from the others. Perhaps all I need is to take a 10 minute time-out from my schedule each day to enjoy something unusual or spontaneous? The challenge is officially on!