I’m not normal. I know that.
But I still live with this delusion that someday, Normal will happen. Specifically, that my life will be normal.
That I’ll get a routine figured out and that routine will work for the rest of my life. The rest of my entire life. No adjustments needed.
I know better. Really, I do. But I still struggle with this delusion.
My oldest is now in Jr. High. 7th grade. And as of 6:30
this yesterday morning, his life dream has been realized. He’s playing football.
This year will be like no other I’ve had as a parent, and there is no going back.
Did you catch the 6:30 a.m. thing? Did you feel sorry for me? O.K. good.
I have to find a new normal. A new temporary normal.
Last winter, I started working out at 5 a.m. That was a new routine for me, but it worked. I’d gotten used to it and honestly . . . I liked it. I especially liked how working out when I’d normally be sleeping added time to my day. I would get home at 6:05, drink my coffee and do my Bible study time. I loved being done with those two REALLY important things before my kids even got out of bed.
But that much-loved version of Normal is over.
Yesterday morning, I came home at 6:05, awakened my 12yo, helped him find his socks (that he was sure he’d put out the night before) and then looked at the clock and realized it was time to GO.
I’m not complaining one tiny bit. I’m just taking a deep breath and talking to myself and trying to slosh my way through until we figure out how this new (but temporary) Normal will work.
Because even when Normal happens, it doesn’t last long.
I interrupt this post about how Normal never happens to me to share what made me stop writing with that “So here’s” up there.
Right. At 10:15, in the middle of writing my first post after my summer break from blogging, the school called. It seems some crazy kid had injured his arm while playing Wall Ball in the very first recess of his fifth grade year. The nurse was concerned it might be broken.
She was right.
So my “back on track” day was completely derailed and I spent the rest of it at doctors’ offices.
BUT, I’m still proud of the things I did before 9:30 AM.
Getting back on track means cleaning up the kitchen. During summer’s survival mode, I ran the dishwasher. Almost everyday.
And emptied it. Pretty much everyday.
So that before picture at the top of the post? It could have been soooo much worse.
Notice that dishwasher is empty. And dishes AREN’T piled higher than the top of the faucet.
That’s a victory, folks. Because as long as “cleaning the kitchen” only means putting away the things I’ve left out and straightening and such, it’s takes at least 75% less time to “clean the kitchen” than it does when I have to wash every dish we own.
Lickety-split, the kitchen looked like this:
Is it perfect? Nope. Is this mama happy? Yep!!
But the best part is that I got to enjoy the benefits of time spent getting back on track. When we finally got home from our day of x-raying and casting, I made dinner. And it wasn’t stressful. When the counters are clear, it’s so much easier to throw something together.
It’s also easier (and more natural) to clean up the tiny bit of mess created while making dinner when the kitchen is already mostly clean.
Yay for understanding routines enough that it’s easy to get back into them!! Because that’s what it’s about. Routines.
Routines keep our house (and me) sane. And routines can be transferred to any schedule. Really. They (OBVIOUSLY) work better with schedules that are a little more predictable, but they are necessary no matter what crazy curveballs this gig called Life throws my way.
Have your kids started school yet? Are your routines falling back into place?
If you don’t even know where to start creating routines or if you want detailed guides, check out my books: How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind and Decluttering at the Speed of Life.
Oh, and I also made a video:
(If you can’t see it here, go watch on YouTube!)