The Party’s Over

This morning, in homes around the country, alarms rang, lunches were packed, children had trouble finding backpacks, school bells sounded, rush hour traffic increased and time cards were initialed.  2015 officially began today as daily routines re-entered our lives and the fantasy of the holidays receded until next year.

For me the two weeks of celebrating included eating foods I don’t normally consume (especially in such large quantities), sleeping in  and taking naps, a “jammie” day (explanation to follow another day), overnight visits from grandchildren and granddogs, increased visits with family and friends, more spending money and less cleaning the house.  I relaxed my expectations for what I should do and did more of what I wanted to do.

I did enjoy the break, but I must admit, the return of routine is not necessarily a negative occurrence.  There is relief and calm that arrives with schedules.  Predictability and consistency are important attributes of a healthy life.  Knowing the kids have to be at school at 7:30 every Monday through Friday, that work starts at 8:00, that drum lessons are on Monday at 6:30, that church is Wednesday and Sunday, and you try to do the laundry on the weekend – these regularly scheduled activities provide the structure we need.  Structure establishes boundaries and creates a rhythm all people need to some degree.

Research shows that the ordinary and familiar create an environment where we thrive.  Dogs are trained with consistent schedules and rewards.  Children feel safer when the environment is predictable and consistent.  Adults experience less stress when we feel in control of our time  The critical factor here is balance:  enough structure for predictability, enough freedom for spontaneity.  Maybe that would be a good goal for this year.  I think I’ll try it.

 

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One thought on “The Party’s Over

  1. Nothing makes Zach happier than his predictable routine. Weekends are tough and school breaks are even more difficult. His routine of getting up and off to school masks what happens once he is up the steps of the big yellow bus until it returns. After that mass chaos happens. No two days ever look the same. With nieces here or not, meetings, doctor appointments, Bible Study, Mom’s Avon business, everything is in a state of flux. Then the weekend comes or a holiday and those things are still happening randomly, but Zach is thrown in the mix and his rigidity and his hunger for routine has caused many a tear, his and mine. I am happy to say that as he grown in age and maturity, this isn’t as big if an issue but it still exists. Still trying to develop coping mechanisms for both of us. We are getting there, slowly but with an ever advancing progress.

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