The only bad thing, really, about having a routine, is when you are put out of the routine and it really throws everything off.
It’s a small price to pay, for sure, for all the BENEFITS of having a regular routine. But it sucks.
So, it was our monthly local social/networking Pagan moot last night. Myself and another lad Paul started this in our county when I moved here over 2 years ago, and I absolutely love the community that has grown, and will continue to do so, from this one simple bit of monthly outreach and connection that I take responsibility for.
The people who attend are truly lovely and many have become really good friends. The kind of people you can really get on with. The kind of people who, when you’re with them, you don’t really pay attention to the time passing. The kind of people you can really talk to, in depth, and then suddenly realise it’s 1am on a school night. (My offspring is on summer holidays from school right now, but we still call midweek nights ‘a school night’. I don’t know why either.)
And then you get one friend settled in a taxi, stroll home as another friend is staying over, and talk even more. Next thing you know it’s 2am and you’re just shutting off the lights to try and sleep.
In case you are not following, yes, I stayed up talking and drinking with my friends instead of sticking to my usual sleep routine – 10pm tech off for an 11pm goal of sleep time.
I woke at 8am and did my email and banking checks, then heard my friend downstairs so shuffled down to say before she went away to work. We got talking (again) and she ran out the door after 9.15, a little on the late side.
I was sat at my dining room table, in my dressing gown, and literally the only part of my morning I’d done was drink some water. So of course the logical thing to do was take out my phone and go on facebook. Of course.
At 10.30am, Jon came in the room and I was in a funk, feeling way off kilter… and my usual conditioned response to that is to freeze – do nothing about the big stuff. This usually looks like, as in this case, me mindlessly clicking, sharing and scrolling on Facebook, allowing my brain to slide on by the things that are causing me anxiety.
He took my hands, and told me to try a reset. Just start doing the things from my routine that settled me into my day, like we talked about a few days back. I panicked at that point because I had two articles due by lunchtime and I wouldn’t have time to do my routine and I just had to go sit in my dressinging gown and start typing.
That didn’t sound like a good plan, to either of us.
So, I took a breath, and figured I would do my minimum viable routine for now while I was pressed for time, and catch up with things later. Or, let them go for the day. Coz that’s ok too.
Upstairs; washed face, brushed teeth and tied hair back, ate a fruit bar, took meds. Got ‘dressed’ into my batman pyjama pants, and a clean loose t-shirt. Drank more water (1 litre in at that point).
Downstairs; at desk, I lit a candle on my work altar today and did my daily devotional there. I opened my bullet journal, checked the weekly for what I had on that day, and the monthly just to make sure I wasn’t forgetting an appointment or event. Thankfully, I wasn’t. Fit a very simple daily task list onto the end of a page, put my headphones on – I listen to the same playlist of strong dance beats with no lyrics as a focus trigger when I’m writing – and got to work.
Normally I prioritise my book words first. The deadline is the end end of next month and I’m still 20,000 words down, as I procrastinated over ‘researching’ it for way too long at the start. I can do that wordcount in a month easy enough if I stick to my schedule though, so I’m not too worried there anymore.
Today though I had a very limited time to get my client columns done and sent, so I did those first. Boom. It was lunchtime. But I didn’t stop for lunch yet, I pushed through to the end of the book chapter I was working on, and got that settled too.
First 3 things off the list. 4 more to go. But first, lunch (oat and banana pancakes), and more water (2 litres in at that point).
After I’d eaten (and listened to a business podcast, so that’s another bit of the daily routine ticked off there too), back to work, and I recorded another podcast episode. I’m recording a heavy dissertation on the Mórrígan as a bonus/favour for some of my Intensive Programme students – and any other folks – who might find it difficult to concentrate and consume such a weighty document/book.
I went off list a little and registered the domain name for this project (which is now set up if you’re reading this online!), and did a few other hosting and admin bits for the websites I run and the new projects I’m putting together. I’m still learning wordpress and the tech aspects of all that is a bit much sometimes, but I’ve great support on my hosting site so that really helps.
That got written down on my daily page too, as I have a common tendency to feel that I haven’t done ‘enough’ (hello anxiety disorder and C-PTSD!) in any given day, and I find that really helps – tracking exactly how much I do get done. At least I can be honest with myself that way.
As you can see, my bullet journal is really never far from my hand. I honestly can’t sit down to work at the desk without it. Like, if I lost it I’d just cry a bit and start a new one… but I will always have a journal close to me, forever I think.
So here I am, at 5.15pm with 4 (+1 bonus) tasks ticked off, and nearly done my 5th one. The rest of the tasks are not day dependant, so if I get tired and decide to shuffle them around that’s grand. I’ve done exactly what HAS to get done today, and I’m satisfied with that.
Still to do that were skipped this morning are: a little professional development/devotional reading, meditation, affirmations and visualisations (I’ll do those as I finish up for the day before I leave my desk), some light physio exercises, and a shower.
Yeah, I’m sitting here in my own stank all day, and it’s going to be very difficult to haul ass in the shower – I do even worse at the end of the day with that, than at the beginning where at least there’s a bit of momentum to get moving. So if I can’t face that, fuck it. I’ll crawl into bed and just reset it all tomorrow.
Because that’s the true beauty of a routine. It’s always there, ready and waiting for you to slot back into, no matter how far out of whack you get.
All the best,