Thriving on routine

Do you sometimes struggle to stay consistent?  To keep focused and stay the course?  I sure do.

With distractions at every turn, I am much more comfortable going with the flow and inviting — and even chasing after — something new and different!

I equate routine with being bored and that scares the daylights out of me! But I’ve come to realize I need a fair amount of regular, consistent activity — a routine — to get things done.

I am settled back on Martha’s Vineyard after a winter in Florida and travels these past weeks to Paris, New York and Columbus.  I’m out of my routine and in search of the right footing to accomplish the many dreams I have.

In my first hour home, I slipped into our backyard to see if our 10-year-old rock sculpture had kept her balance through the winter. Yup, she sure did!

And, after five months away, our Wilber immediately crawled back into his hammock (courtesy of Woman on Fire Holly Getty!) and resumed his own routine on Martha’s Vineyard.

It made me laugh to consider that even inanimate objects and animals stay the course better than I do sometimes!

Woman on Fire Sophfronia Scott and I were recently talking about another kind of routine — the struggles of the “sandwich generation” — men and women simultaneously caring for kids and elderly parents or relatives.

She recommended the book of a friend of hers Elizabeth Cohen called The Family on Beartown Road.

In it, Elizabeth describes having a baby at age 40 and taking in her 80-year-old father with dementia to live with her and her husband.  Well, he was her husband — until the baby turned one and he decided it was all too much for him and he left.

At that point, the only routine the author could count on for herself was a slice of time when Grandpa and the baby were asleep, and she would write her awarenesses of the two ends of life’s spectrum and her heartbreak.

“I am discovering that babies and old men have a lot in common. Both thrive on routine,” she wrote.

It was her own routine of writing that resulted in her inspiring and insightful book. I took note.

And, it was her routine of writing 15 minutes a day that led author Martha Beck, whose hands were immobilized by an auto-immune disorder, to a major accomplishment.

Undaunted, she rubberbanded her fingers together, stuck a pencil between them, and routinely wrote until she finished her award-winning book Expecting Adam: A True Story of Birth, Rebirth and Everyday Magic.

I took note.

And, I have decided there is nothing boring about consistent, forward motion that eventually gets you to your goal, your dream, your success.

As skeletons are to our bodies, routines — consistent, regular, ongoing actions and practices — are the backbones to our success.

Now, I can hardly wait for Monday morning. Back to the routines I know work for me!

I’d love to hear what routines work for you?

And, before I go, congratulations to Woman on Fire Julie Quackenbush of Columbus, Ohio for winning the gorgeous KiraGrace yoga jacket, courtesy of Kira Karmazin. Julie looks sharp in it at a Michael McDonald Concert!

Thank you for being a part of this amazing, supportive and caring community.