I am out of routine. It is wonderful – and yet brings me into a state of some disarray. I am used to knowing what my daily/weekly life will entail. And even though I am out of routine by choice, it still throws me a little off kilter. Sometimes I feel like I don’t know if I am coming or going, and my head is in a bit of a spin. And then I remember WHY I am doing the things I am doing, and my feet hit solid ground again.
Right now I am off my normal routine due to some extra speaking engagements I have booked. Usually I aim for doing 2 per month. (I love to speak to groups on my “off days” of Wednesdays or Fridays, when I am not in my practice). But I have faced a reality for myself as of late: I love speaking as much as I love being in my practice. And that is saying a lot. In my practice, I am surrounded by children, babies, and families – many of them people that I have known for a long time. I feel connected and purposeful, and love that a part of my ‘work’ is to receive hugs, artwork and appreciation every single day. And yet, there is another part of me that loves just as much the exhilaration of speaking to large groups of people – essentially reminding them of all the ways that they are magnificent; that that are designed for health; that their potential is limitless; and that they can be amazing if they can just glimpse that possibility for themselves.
And so, I am excited to be in an ‘out-of-routine’ phase. I have 5 talks outside of my practice (plus 2 in it) in a 2 week span. That means that my daily/weekly routine has to shift. That means that I have to accommodate for less time to workout, less time to meal prep, less time to write (this is my first blog in over 2 weeks!!), less time to organize at home and less time to work on projects in my practice. And the truth is that none of those areas stops needing me when I add more to my plate. And here I am, left wondering how to balance it all, and end each week feeling like I accomplished less than what I set out to do. And yet, I am happy.
Years ago, my daily routine kept me sane. With a newborn and a 20-month-old, our routine was like clockwork for eating, playing, walking, going to the park, nap times, dinner, bedtime and more. It kept me sane. And as most moms can attest to – if I ‘missed that window of time’ – especially for food or rest – my life (and peace) quickly went downhill. FAST.
So here I find myself, years later, and the demands are not from my kids. As my highest priority in life, they always get what they need from me, my time and my attention. Instead, it is all of my own doing. It is all of my own expectations on myself.
Be a great mom. Be a great wife. Be a great chiropractor. Have fun. Make a difference. Inspire everyone around you. Be a role model. Be strong. Be fit. Be healthy. Have a clean house. Help out in the schools. Speak to companies and groups. Remind people every day that THEY are designed to be EXTRAORDINARY.
Playing small just doesn’t cut it. Make a difference. Make a difference. Make a difference.
So, our house is in shambles. Our yard is unkept. Our kids need haircuts. The to-do list on my iphone is getting larger by the day. The clean laundry is unfolded. But I am happy, and see how my temporary out-of-balance-life serves my higher purpose.
So here is what keeps my perspective: We just had an AWESOME family day at the zoo with friends. Our housecleaner is coming tomorrow (even on a long weekend, thank goodness!) Tomorrow I’ll be back on track with my workouts. And I’m excited for the two talks this coming week, and three to follow after that. (In between I have a long weekend to enjoy, front row tickets to Dave Matthews Band(!!), and a four-day trip home to Halifax. YAY!)
My life may be busy, but it is full of things that make me feel purposeful, alive and happy. My usual routine helps keep me sane, and helps me dump – or delegate – those things that don’t make me feel most on purpose. It is my routine that keeps me grounded. My early morning routine of waking, moving, journalling, reflecting, setting my goals and intentions. My weekly routine of workouts, team meetings, and accountability calls. My time dedicated to writing, reflecting, time for my family, time for me, and time for my husband.
I am quite certain that it is my routine that keeps me sane, and that allows me to have the busy, full life that I live. But the true crux of it all is knowing what is most valuable to me. Knowing what makes me feel purposeful, inspired, and fully myself.
I have spent years learning through coaches, courses, reading, journalling and more to fine-tune my understanding of myself, my highest values and my vision. With that in place, I can see how keeping my schedule doesn’t make me feel limited. It gives me the framework I need to be the highest and best version of myself that I can be. People may think that routine is controlling and limiting – but my experience has been that it a necessity for a busy life – being aware of what is most important, and knowing what I most need to do.
Everything else can wait.