Friday, July 18, 2008

In Pursuit of a Peaceful Home



Life at the castle is a bit unsettled at the moment, dear friends. With so many activities going in the past few months, Kali & Lily's graduations, Bambi's birthday, Kali's wedding and pre-event festivities..and then, of course, Mom's illness..well, it's taken it's toll on our home, on our lives, on our spirits. I'm behind on everything, from laundry to grocery shopping, just don't have the energy to do it all. Regular mealtimes have fallen by the wayside, even though I am cooking several nights a week we're rarely eating dinner together. Beren's been putting in longer hours as have I, and the girls' work schedules are all over the map so I never know when to plan dinner.

Overwhelmed and out of control, I talked to my friend Jersey because she always gives the best advice! *smile* She suggested a routine, a schedule, and gave me a couple of websites to peruse. This one especially resonated with me as it focused on ritual & routine in a very Zen-like manner. One of the most important components is a morning and bedtime "calming routine." Morning & Bedtime routines, I had those once-upon-a-time when I followed the S*H*E homemaking system (Jersey, remember that's how you and I met, on the SHE boards!). It worked very well; my life was more orderly and there was a nice marking point to begin and end my day. Once I got divorced though, the proverbial hell broke loose and my lifestyle changed dramatically. No excuse, though, it's been 4 years, things have calmed down tremendously in personal/professional areas, it's time to now focus on what is truly important: my home and family.

So, this week I'm going to focus on taking back some control of my life. A couple of things are already in place - Beren and I have a morning ritual together where we wake at the same time and have our first cup of coffee together before work. I have also started menu planning which is great for getting the food on the table but it doesn't help if there's no one here to eat it. So, an established dinnertime is needed, even if it's just two of us dining together. The nighttime will be harder, everyone stays up later than me and I tend to push myself even though I'm tired and should head to bed, I just don't want to miss anything. *grin* I'm suffering as a result, though, am tired and drained and that doesn't do my family any good either.

Tell me, do you all have a schedule and routine that you follow on a daily/weekly basis? If so, how does that work for you? I'd love to hear your suggestions!

19 comments:

Heather @ SGF said...

Thanks for the Zen Habits link. That looks like a great site.

Hubby and I don't have much of a routine (or maybe it's so ingrained we don't notice it) other than we try to have breakfast together every morning. We also do lunch dates on the weekend. I try to do a meditation every day - after I get home from work on days I am at the office, or after lunch on days I work from home. I need to listen to more podcasts or go back to reading more on mindfulness. It really helps calm me. I used to read a little Thich Nhat Hanh or a section of the "Art of Happiness" which is based on interviews with the Dalai Lama before bed. It always calmed me, gave me something to think about and helped me sleep.

Naturegirl said...

((Rapunzel let down your hair!))
I couldn't resist that's what came to mind when I saw your blog name!
I always begin my day with a cup of hot water with fresh lemon juice and sit in the garden allowing nature to calm and restore while the lemon water rids my body of toxins.
Zen habits are good for mind body and spirit!

Anonymous said...

yep, I remember....I need to revive my BOX....not the *stepford* style but a Box that fills the well and allows creativity back in my life. Time for a New Plan!

jersey

Teacats said...

Here at the Cottage life has been through some wild rides in the last few years -- DH is finally back at work so I've had to re-adjust to THAT new (but very welcome!) "bump in the road!" He's working at a office OR at home OR he is travelling so regular meals are out-of-the-window! He's away for most of the next week SO I'll be clearing and cleaning out some clutter and hauling it all over to Goodwill. So my recommendation is to think of your home like an office -- Research & Development; Inventory Control; Accounts; Production Lines (including meal prep and laundry etc.) Take a hard look at what you can do to make it all work better! Clear out? Clean out? Re-Arrange and Re-Organize? Those steps can REALLY help to move the regular routines along much faster and more efficiently!

Jan at Rosemary Cottage -- who is making lists for Next Week's R & R (Re-arrange and Re-Organize!!)

TheParisApartment said...

Great links, thank you! I think the morning routine is great, lots of silence is good for me. Right now the tv is on mute and I hear the birds. Sometimes I just take a 30 second break to shut my eyes. I like the book Miracle of Mindfulness, it's about concentrating on the task at hand and not letting your mind wander, kind of dish washing while breathing meditation which helps all day long!

linda said...

hi rapunzel...seems what I "heard" was you are not getting enough sleep! I think an established self-nurturing ritual or two during the morning and/or evening is so important to grounding your Spirit. You have so many things happening at once right now, many deep emotions rising to the surface, you need time for nurturing too...I always need to come back to center before I can move forward productively. Hope that helps...it's hard to get it all into one little box ;)

Julie said...

Oh Lord..I feel like my daily life is a race against time..and more specifically - a race against sunset! I have a certain amount of things that must be done daily on the farm that I hate doing in the dark..

I start my day running and hope that I don't fall asleep at night before my husband gets home from work. I work early - he works late and we e-mail each other all day long. I just try and laugh...a lot!..oh and all household chores are done on Saturday..unless I am out of town..to which they must wait until the next Saturday.. Not very zen like is it???

Rapunzel said...

Heather, my daughter has that book, I'll have to take a peek at it, thank you!

Rapunzel said...

Naturegirl, your morning ritual sounds very soothing, a perfect way to start your day. :-)

Heather @ SGF said...

Someone mentioned it in a comment on the No Impact Man site and I read it. It truly changed my life and the way I look at things. Hope you enjoy it!

Rapunzel said...

Jersey, exactly! When the system is being followed it allows more time for the fun stuff! xoxoxo

Rapunzel said...

Jan, great suggestions, thank you!

Rapunzel said...

Claudia (the Paris Apartment), I've never heard of that book but love the title, thank you!

Rapunzel said...

Linda, you are absolutely right! Tonight I have already started my new evening ritual and intend to hit the sack with a book in just a few minutes. :-)

Rapunzel said...

Julie, lol, not very zen-like, no, but if it works for you that's what counts!

Melissa said...

thanks for this post...I am in sort of an in-between complicated work situation right now, so basically I'm home almost all the time (no kids) and work sporadically about 2 or 3 hours a week - it was great at first, but now too often I find myself staying up til 2 or 3 in the morning, sleeping till 10 (or later) and it's really not good for the mind. I need to set a schedule. It starts tomorrow! Thanks for the push!

Jen said...

I love the calming routine idea. I'm always trying to ingrain more balance into my life.

Rapunzel said...

Jen, me too. Right now things are definitely out of balance for me yet I think I have a handle on how to fix it..one day at a time, right?

Rapunzel said...

Melissa, I know just what you mean! Because I only work part time I misjudge how many hours a day I actually have to get stuff done, and end up racing around anyway. Let me know how that new routine works, we can inspire each other!