Before we begin, allow me to address all current/former English teachers/grammar nerds. I was one of you. I have purposely chosen to use artistic license in the title of this post. “Routines as the Things Up to Which I Catch” doesn’t have the same ring to it. And now I’m questioning the pluralization of “routines.” See how it never ends?
I’m getting back into the routine of things.
School has been going for almost two weeks, and we’re getting used to it. Summer Survival Mode has ended (though now we’re figuring out Book Writing Survival Mode).
As I ran an extra load of dishes here and there last week to try to catch up from the off-routine days of summer, it hit me how much it helps to have something to catch up to.
Pre-blog (pre-any-understanding-whatsoever-of-the-importance-or-impact-of-routines), I felt behind all the time. ALL the time.
This vague concept of “catching up” meant getting the house perfect. Since getting the house perfect never happened (and still never happens), I never caught up.
Knowing I’d never “catch up” zapped all hope and desire to even try.
Now, I’m not trying to catch up to what the house looked like in my head before we actually bought it and moved our stuff into it.
I’m catching up to a routine, because I have a routine to catch up to.
Knowing that my goal is a routine, I can identify and tackle the things that will make the routine easier.
Like the baking sheets filling the right side of the sink in the picture above.
We need to order a replacement part for my beloved dishwasher. The adjustable top rack isn’t adjusting, so we can’t put tall items in the bottom rack right now. Baking sheets are tall, and over the summer as the kids (fine. the kids and I . . .) depended on frozen stuff for lunches (fine. lunches and dinners . . .), these baking sheets were used A LOT.
But they couldn’t go in the dishwasher.
Which meant they got piled in the sink and washed as needed.
Not a happy truth, but the real truth.
Also, the annoying truth. Because no kitchen will ever look “clean” when there are bigger-than-the-sink baking sheets piled up on one side, no matter how clear and clean the sink’s other side may be.
As my Summer Brain Fog cleared, I was excited to tackle this not-a-project-at-all-but-totally-feels-like-a-project.
Excited, y’all. Not because I can’t stand to see a mess (I have a special gift for not seeing it), and not because I was going to get my house cleaned up once and for all (I now know that isn’t even a thing).
I was excited because I have a routine. Even when I’ve gotten off of it, I still have it. I know exactly what to do to get back on track and start seeing real progress.
My routine is my motivation to catch up. The routine is the thing I’m catching up to.
Once all those big-and-awkward baking sheets are clean and out of the way, my routine makes a DAILY VISUAL IMPACT. So when I took the amazingly short time necessary to do one day’s worth of kitchen work Monday morning, it made an impact. And that impact impacted my mood.
So that’s my goal. I’m not catching up on a perfect kitchen, I’m catching up on the routines that enable me to maintain a livable kitchen.
Yay for routines.