While kids haven’t been in class for awhile, my wife has had to report to work until the beginning of this month. She has a month where, while she is working, she doesn’t have to report to the office for work. It’s great! She’s home, our little girls get to spend more time with Mom. It’s fantastic.
Yet, there is a great difficulty with adjusting for this month. Our routines are thrown for a loop and systems that have worked great to get the kids through the day and work done won’t work anymore. The grand plans for things to do during this month haven’t begun to materialize and we seem to be spinning our wheels.
This should come to no surprise. Ritual and routine are very important. Toddlers and little kids (at least) seem to thrive in a predictable state and, truth be told, I thrive when I’m in a predictable state.
For me, prayer and spirituality are the first causality of the abandoned routine. Whether it is the lack of alarm clock leading to waking up to Olivia singing to herself from her crib and missing morning prayer, or staying up late writing a blog post that you forgot was due in the morning leads you to being too tired for your typical bedtime routine, or the moment you find to sit in silence and simply be still are lost to the winds.
Might I suggest that we start to become comfortable with change.
Then-Bishop Gregory Aymond preached those words during his Ash Wednesday homily in 2004 and have stuck with me ever since that time. The key to becoming comfortable with change in our lives is our core routines. While kids at home over the summer, or starting a new semester with a radically different class schedule, or changing jobs or retiring outright will change our overall routine greatly, if we can distill the core aspects of our day and give them priority when establishing our new daily ritual, we will be better equipped for the overall change before us.
For me, I know that I cherish my morning time. Ora, Labora, & Cafaeum. Prayer, Work and Coffee. When my mornings are ordered toward what works best for me, the rest of the day goes better. When I keep that at the start of my day, no matter what else is different in the day, I can handle it much better.
What is your core? Daily Mass? The run around Lady Bird Lake? The rosary before bed?