Robert flew to Atlanta yesterday afternoon for work travel for a few days. Work travel for him is going to likely become more of our “new normal,” along with many other changes to our routine this fall (new school schedules – 3 kids 3 schools 3 commutes, new sports schedules – 3 kids, 3 teams … 3 practices for one, 3 practices and a game for another, 2 practices for another just between M-Th). I am not begrudging any of it, really, because it is all for very good reasons and the adjustments while hard are not impossible. I think I am just ready for a routine and rhythm and am struggling to figure out a way to establish that. This morning I was on facebook (probably not the best way to start my day, I admit!) because I was curious about Jacki Carr’s book club book choice this month. It’s called Atomic Habits (James Clear) and is apparently all about how we can create better systems for ourselves to help us achieve our goals. That it’s not that we are lazy or unmotivated – oftentimes it’s more a matter of having a bad system/structure for our daily doings. The thing is, one of the habits I want to cultivate more of in my life is reading books. Yet I am basically failing miserably at that. Sitting down to read sounds/feels like such an indulgent luxury for me right now, and when I do carve out the time for it, I feel like I should be doing something else and have a hard time focusing or allowing myself to just dive in. So I have stacks of partly-started or near-finished books on my nightstand and in various areas of my house … the thought of ordering another one just makes my stomach hurt. I thought maybe I would do the audiobook instead, and listen to it while I run on easy days? But for a book like that I think it would probably be more helpful to actually READ because I imagine I would want to highlight/underline stuff. But maybe not.
My morning routine is sacred typically but I’ve lost my roots with it lately and feel frazzled. This morning Gus was up just before 5am, Abby was up shortly after, the dog needed to go out … and now it’s almost 6:30 and she is already on the bus, Gus is dressed and ready for school (despite my efforts to get him back to sleep) and is practicing his scooter tricks in the garage at the moment…seriously I do not know where he gets the energy but it does probably mean he will be tanking hard by the time dinner rolls around (and at that time I will be taking him with me to Will’s soccer practice which goes from 7-8:30pm… so it will be a long day). I just heard Will’s alarm go off, so he will be down here soon.
I think that’s the thing right now – the morning is chaotic and by the time everyone gets off to school I am here with a long to do list, chores, work and wanting to fit a run in too. I have to get everything done by 2pm because that’s when my carpool driving kicks off. I am home from that today around 4pm (yes, 2 hours in the car driving all over Raleigh!) and then take Abby to cheer at just after 5pm, and we leave for Will’s soccer at 6:30pm. I have to figure out dinner for everyone too. Gah. It’s a lot and I am having a hard time wrapping my brain around it all and figuring out how to feel both relaxed and at peace AND productive and able to get everything, or at least enough, done. It used to be that my morning sunrise miles kind of set the tone for the rest of the day, and as crazy as the day would get later I would feel this sense of inner peace and calm because I had carved that out and gotten it done. Now I can’t usually leave for my run until 9ish, and often later than that and I am feeling anxious about getting the run done in time so I can accomplish my responsibilities with work and family things I have to do before 2pm. But it is a priority and I know I am probably blowing a lot of this out of proportion. I need to break it down and then I feel better.
Anyways, it is what it is and I will figure it out! I think step one right now is accepting that this is how it is and embracing it. Looking at the blocks of time that I do have and making a plan and sticking to it. Identifying the roadblocks, the things that suck my energy and willpower and make me feel less than capable…so I can anticipate them and give myself some tools for thinking beyond them. Maybe I will get that book after all lol.
Have you read Atomic Habits? How do you structure your morning routine? Do you have teenage kids? This is harder than I expected it would be both logistically and emotionally, but I know that it’s not impossible!
If you’ve read this far, thank you! It feels good to journal here and just get things out 🙂 Have a great day!