Minimal and slow living has so many aspects that when you go into it you can feel your whole life shift from one side to the other. Slowly but steady we are moving in to the slow pace and we are getting more mindful about our steps everyday.
With a child that has been having sleeping problems all her life it is essential to keep our days orderly. Both my children (as most of the children do, I think) need things to be predictable and easy to handle. Our days are “boring” and very predictable. As I first read about daily rhythms my thought was that I did not want very day to be the same! “How could one live like that”, I asked myself. And ” specially the spontaneous things in life are what makes it fun”. But then I realized if there is no structure, everything is spontaneous and then spontaneous is just not that fun anymore, it is just running around like a mad men trying to get from one kick to the next.
So a few weeks ago I started to fill in my agenda religiously so I could see a pattern. I noticed that I was always planning way to much and in the end feel like nothing really was done and just very tired. I heard myself walking around the house screaming “how come I never get to do what I want in this house??”
Well this is why: I am not able to plan two coffee dates in a day, work, clean the house, do things with the children AND meditate.
As my meditation teacher told me about the Zen tradition that teaches us to clean our own mirror (read On minimalism and friendship), I knew that in order to feel liberated I had to look at myself and see what I could do about this situation.
As I do not have a passionate feeling about cleaning but know it is just something that needs to happen (and we can’t afford a cleaning lady) I started with the household chores. I thought why not divide them over the days I am at home instead of trying to do it all in just one day, not feeling like it and then end up not doing anything really and getting pissed with my family members for not helping out. And so I made a schedule.
I left out the days I work outside the house and divided the chores in 5 days so I would have to do max. an hour of work everyday. It feels so good, just to do a little everyday and because the house is way more empty due to the minimalism I do not have to declutter before cleaning!!! Leaves me time to write, sow have coffee with a friend and be online….
As the cleaning schedule felt so liberating I thought I gave it a shot with our weekly life as well. And so I have scheduled my whole week. Not on paper though. Becuase that would feel to extreme. But I just have a rhythm now:
mondays and tuesdays are for working,
wednesdays; for cleaning and administration and the afternoon with Isa (baking or crafting, just one activity)
thursdays; are for dolls (and also the evenings I always make sure to have a basket with projects next to the couch 🙂 , and a visit to the library.
fridays; writting and doll making and for play dates in the afternoon
saturdays; fro working every other week, when free a visit to the farmers market and bulk store.
sundays; fundays! outside inside whatever but best spend with family!
Living with rhythms makes life predictable and easy going it needs some discipline at first but after a while you will notice how easy your life will get and how much more room it leaves you for the things you like to do best! Key with setting up schedules is first looking into how you organized your life now. Look at your agenda, fill it in with all the appointments you make (even the ones with yourself and the ones you did not got to), so you can see a pattern after a few weeks. Are there things you can change? (for example: does your child really need to attend 3 sports and music class every week??? Just pick one activity that you can all really enjoy and have time for.) Priority, there are “needs” and “wants”. Make a list and choose and last but not least: schedule realistically, there are only 24 hours in a day, of which you really, really need your 8 hours sleep!!!
Thank you for reading,