Sunday, February 1, 2015

Routines that bring us joy

(4 o'clock tea time!)

Lately I have been thinking a lot about routines. What routines do we do daily, weekly or monthly that bring us joy and comfort? It is said that the secret to success can be found in your daily routine - and certainly doing things at specific points of the day can make you more efficient at obtaining goals. It is also said that it can take 21 days of repeating something daily to make a routine, or longer, I suppose, if you are doing something weekly. 

I've been thinking about the concept of routines for two reasons. The first is that the New Year brings new goals and things we'd like to accomplish. The second is that Maya is starting school this week, and for the first time ever I'll have more than 2 seconds to myself. In fact, I'll have exactly 3 hours to myself, 5 days a week. It feels like such a treat, especially since my own daily routines have basically been managed by my little crazy minion daughter since even before she was born!

So many other mothers that I've talked to say the few hours of school go by so fast and they only have enough time to go grocery shopping, cooking, and tidying up. That is exactly what I do NOT want to be doing. These 3 hours by myself are so precious to me that I really want to use the time to do something for myself creatively, rather than doing brainless housewife things that I can do easily when I'm with her. I love taking Maya grocery shopping and she loves to ride in the shopping cart - we can still do that together. I love cooking when Maya is there to watch me and she helps me clean the vegetables. I love cleaning when Maya was there because she eagerly thinks the vacuum is chasing her and it's all a fun game of "it's gonna catch me!"

So in my newfound time to myself, I really want to concentrate on things that I cannot possibly do when I'm with her. For example - anything creative. Things like opening the computer to write with full concentration, painting a detailed illustration, or doing a photoshoot without having to see if she's running off somewhere. I want to use what little time I do have and really make it count.

The whole concept of routines got me thinking of things that we do regularly that bring us joy. What are things that we do that we love? What parts of the day or week do we look forward to? Because whatever brings us joy - we should do more of...

For example, every evening I take a hot bath and then I read a book. I have to do this or else I'll have a hard time falling asleep. Another thing I love doing is having lunch with my daughter - just the two of us. It feels like I'm having lunch with one of my girlfriends. And I also love 4 o'clock tea time - that point in the day where I'm utterly wiped and get to finally sit down and sip hot tea slowly. 

For my weekly routine, I love my Sunday yoga class. The teacher is so good that it feels like I am going to church! I also love taking my daughter to her swimming class and her dance class. We also go to chiropractor once a week, as a family. I also try to meet up with one of my friends so I can have some adult conversation. And my most favorite weekly event is our date nights! We always go to a fancy restaurant and see a movie.

Routines change so much when you have kids. I remember when I used to do all my writing while she was still napping - or when I used to wake up at 5am to exercise and get some alone time. Or when I used to take a twice-daily walk with the stroller just to get her to sleep. Now I'll have my afternoons all to myself! I'm really looking forward to setting up some new routines - just for myself...

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Dear readers, what are your daily/weekly routines? What are some routines that you do to bring you joy or comfort?

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7 comments

  1. your tea cup and saucer are so cute!

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  2. Grocery shopping on a Friday evening brings with it comfort. It signals that the weekend is ahead and that I doubt have to see the ugly mug of my boss for two whole days.

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  3. Sitting down to play my ukulele makes me happy. Just tuning and strumming simple songs makes me happiest. Even if I'm a beginner it doesn't matter to anyone else I'm only learning for me.

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  4. Oh yes! I use these 3 hours the same way you plan to, no force strong enough will compel me to do any housework then, beside I think my daughter observing me cleaning the house is educative, shows her that things aren't being done my magical little pixies while she is away.
    Walking is part of my daily routine, generally in the evening while Ishita plays with her friends at the playground, she socialise and I take rounds of the small park we go to.

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  5. My husband and I spend Saturday mornings together. Sometimes we will go for walks when the weather is nice, or we sit around on the couch and watch reruns of Friends, or we end up talking about all kinds of random things. We don't make any other plans for Saturday mornings because it is sometimes the only time we get to see each other all week. Sunday mornings are mine :) I get up early, refill anything in the kitchen that needs refilling, and make a cup of tea and read or maybe tidy up something that's really been bothering me. I'm trying to be more of a creature of routine.

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  6. I agree with you. Use this precious solitude to do something you really want or to indulge in a hobby. I remember when my younger son joined school, I went and enrolled in kathak classes. I was a terrible dancer but I had great fun with those classes. Reading sounds good too and of course writing.

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  7. Top of the list is my afternoon chai for sure! Then, on weekends, going to a cafe. Sitting alone. Walking. Reading.

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