I can’t remember where I read these words recently–it sounds like the sort of thing you’d spy on a magazine cover in the checkout line–and they struck me as extremely wise, and extremely obvious. But sometimes I need the obvious spelled out for me.
I firmly believe that the rhythms and structures of your life don’t have to look like anyone else’s: they just have to work. My family’s been in a good groove for a while now, but lately I’ve been noticing we’ve undergone some shifts, and it’s time to do some tweaking.
I used to love writing in the evenings after the kids went to bed. Because they went to bed at 7:00–7:30 at the latest–Will and I would put in a solid hour of work after bedtime, and still have plenty of time to talk and decompress before going to bed.
But that old routine that worked so well for a year or two hasn’t worked for months. Just one year later, they go to bed at 8:30, and it’s time for a new routine. Do what works, until it doesn’t. It’s not easy to invent new routines (we’ve been gradually shifting to longer morning work hours), but it’s easier than pressing through with structures that no longer make sense for my family.
And then there’s the running. For years, it was impossible for me to work out before breakfast. But now Will doesn’t leave for work at 5:30 and the kids sleep past 6:00, and for the first time in years, it works. I’ve been getting in morning runs, four days a week, without having to get up in the 4:00 hour.
It’s helped me to realize that there’s never any one solution. I can’t find routines that suit me and keep them forever. But I’m learning to acknowledge that changes will come, and when something isn’t working, I don’t have to force it: I have the freedom to find something that works better.
Do what works, until it doesn’t.
It sounds so obvious. But I needed to hear it.
Have you made any tweaks lately? What changed?