Friday, November 23, 2012
Out of Order
I am not one of those parents that has to follow a very strict routine. I for one don’t believe that life revolves around any one person’s schedule. If you stick too close to set times that life has to be lived in or you are inflexible with your children’s routines than you set them up for a world of anxiety and bewilderment. I know that I’ve argued with several people that disagree with me and say the only way to provide stability in a child’s mind is to have that set repetition of daily order. I am also not talking about children with a disability. I’ve worked in the industry long enough that I know some people just don’t possess the capability of dealing with changes and uncertainty. I know that providing those people with as much predictability as possible in the day helps them to cope with the world.
Time is a man-made device used to aid us in setting goals, ensure we make deadlines and appointments on time and to help us judge when the sun is going to rise and set. It has also however become such a major factor in our lives we sometimes forget that it is not natural. I mean sure it is extremely certain that the sun will set and rise again in the morning but it’s not an absolute that we will be here to witness it. Even the sun cycle, one day in the hopefully very very distant future, will come to an end. All we can be completely sure of is that in this moment we are here.
We spend so much of our time reliving memories in our past and trying to predict the future that we don’t realize that the moment we are in right now is in fact the only moment that is real. While using the past to attempt to learn from our mistakes can aid us in making the right decisions and shape those moments for tomorrow it is important not to “live” in those moments because they don’t exist yet or anymore. It’s pretty hard to do that when setting a timeline for yourself and your kids to follow constantly. How are you supposed to explore new places or enjoy all life has to offer when you refuse to break your routines.
Life also isn’t going to follow your routine. Even those who need that predictability have a curve ball thrown at them more often than not. You never know what is going to happen or what opportunity is going to present itself but if your schedule doesn’t allow for this type of shenanigans then you and your children will miss out on so much of what the world has to offer. You don’t even have to be a hippy, begin meditating or be a yoga guru to find that inner happiness. You just have to let the construct of time stop running your life. Use it for the tool it is and don’t get wrapped up completely in its web.
I am lucky enough that neither of my children have shown any signs that they can’t cope with changes. My son is a little more reluctant to the process but it doesn’t take him much to enjoy himself when he’s there for the ride. I am actually a little hypocritical here. I need to remember to follow my own advice. I often find myself being easily dominated by the clock. I am not to the point where I have set days of the week that I do my cleaning or set times that the kids have to have a nap, eat a meal or go to bed. I just find myself stressed when there are things that have to be done in a certain timeline. I think it’s in my nature. That’s where I’m really lucky to have my husband in my life. He is amazing at running on his own schedule.
Although a lot of people are not usually impressed that he is always late or canceling plans last minute, I used to be one of them, I’m now starting to see the merit in it. My husband has this amazing knack of getting complete enjoyment out of the moment and not worrying so much about the schedule. It sometimes comes across as being selfish or disrespectful. For me that is usually a hard pill to swallow because I’m such a people pleaser. I want everyone in the crowd to be happy. Putting someone like my husband in a room with people that dominate their lives by the watch makes for some tension and uneasiness. It’s really good that my husband is also such a likeable guy that most people forgive him for it and my concern is unfounded.
I am so glad that my kids have his influences in their lives. I think that we make a good team and the kids are going to grow up in a diverse and exciting world. I hope that by not providing a very strict routine we can somewhat prepare them for the real world, allow them to enjoy the moments that come and go, discover that life is full of opportunity and fun if you’re just willing to let it happen. Our lives might be out of order but it’s so exciting to sit back and enjoy the ride!