Return to routine: what will you make space for?

School goes back tomorrow, so for many of us, this week marks a shift in which we are soft-landing and sliding into a bit more structure and routine than summer has held.

I’m thinking about this and the relief at not having to be my kid’s entertainer, programmer and play date wrangler, lamenting the things we didn’t do this summer, and feeling gratitude that soon I will be able to retreat back into my own routine and my own distractions, which were mostly sidelined for the summer.

I’ve been here before, though, and I know how easy it is to let that routine and those distractions take over, build their own fierce momentum, and push aside so much of what summer allowed for – delight, and slowness, and randomness and spontaneity.

So, the question I’m tossing back and forth at this minute is: what do I need to block into the schedule, to make sure it gets it’s space?

There is a “rule” in time management, that whatever amount of time you allocate to a project is the time it will take… the task will swell to fit the time you’ve allocated.

For me, this means that generally all the nice-to-haves are continually sidelined, because the must-dos eat up all the available time and energy. They swell. They eat time and attention. And suddenly, I’m another year older, and the dreams are dustier than ever, on the shelf.

This season, I’m going to work the other way, and try prioritizing the things that I want to double down on, that light me up, that I want to fit into my life before it’s over.

Endings and beginnings are often located at the same place, after all. Summer ending, school year beginning, chapters and doors opening and shutting. What might I call up? What might I invite my way?

Photo by Tangerine Newt on Unsplash

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