We’ve got rhythm…

“Old man Trouble, I don’t mind him
You won’t find him ’round my door
I’ve got starlight, I’ve got sweet dreams
I’ve got my man
Who could ask for anything more?

I’ve got rhythm, I’ve got music
I’ve got daisies in green pastures
I’ve got starlight, I’ve got sweet dreams
I’ve got my man
Who could ask for anything more?”
 Ella Fitzgerald – I Got Rhythm, Gershwin

House Frau days
House Frau days in December

Creating a rhythmic schedule has never been a strong point for me.  Not that I don’t appreciate routine, I tend to be happier and more relaxed with a routine. However creating all the boundaries for my own schedule without outside factors does not come naturally.

After the last of the community food train meals was delivered back in May we had a family meeting, to set up a meal making schedule, and to add me back into the dish washing schedule. (During chemo, and while healing from surgery I got a pass on my dish duties. A side benefit of skin rashes, loose nails and neuropathy.)

We’ve been on a schedule since June, and it has been making our life so much better. I am enjoying making food on my meal slots, lounging guilt free on the nights I am not responsible for dishes, and enjoying the cooking classes that the boy’s meal slots have become.

It has been helping our whole household feel greater ease. And I realized that for much of our life in recent years Joe and I have been playing a game of Chicken with the dinner & dishes.  The beautiful thing about having a largely egalitarian marriage is that we both cook. But I am sorry to say I have not always been an equal player in the dish department. Which often resulted in a slow standoff followed by a herculean task to dig out of the mess.  Creating a schedule has eliminated that issue, without the need to delve into any deep psychological barriers to doing the dishes.  If  it is my dish night I can relax into the pleasure of it. When it is not- well then that’s a great night to watch Netflix in the bathtub guilt free.  It has become so much easier, just by getting clear about what we wanted as a family and assigning responsibilities to fulfill those desires.

Figuring out that a meal schedule would ensure more joyfully prepared meals was a key insight for us. Having a dish schedule means that the kitchen is much cleaner and more enjoyable to cook in.  And there is markedly less whining, and no dish or dinner stand offs. Which led to the pact the boys and I made a pact late last summer to walk every morning at 9 a.m. After just a few days we realized that the walks set us up for a stronger daily rhythm- something which has felt like the Holy Grail to our household for years.  Facilitated by the daily walk, we updated the summer schedule with more moving parts, and some new features for fall.

New Fall Schedule
the Fall Schedule

With the New Year both boys have become involved in activities outside the house, and I started a new job. (Yeah) So it is time to make a new wall chart. We need a time and place for what we want to manifest.  It seems important now that I have a job to keep the positive rhythms that we learned during my 2014 healing sabbatical. To leverage our outside activities as rhythm enhancers rather than disrupters. In the past out-of-house-routine did not translate to household order. I’m hopeful that we can build on our success of recent months to change that pattern.

I have been diligently working on my 2015 goals since December, writing things down in the monthly planning book that I made for myself, and in the Create your Shining Year Workbook that Kestrel  turned me on to last year.

My workbook from Australian Goddess Leonie Dawson
My workbook from Australian Goddess Leonie Dawson

It feels really good to be planning things, trusting that I will feel well enough to do it! The roller coaster of treatments in 2014 brought many lessons, and my word for last year was Heal. This year I am looking towards spending time with the boys, creative endeavors, working in service, and furthering the cause of joyful rhythm in our life.

A sample of what my planner book looks like inside.
A sample of what my homemade planner looks like inside.

Here on the cusp of February, with the quickening of spring all around I relish the process of diving into the goals I have set for this month, namely spring cleaning of my studio. This month is the 20th anniversary of Joe and I meeting, which will require some celebrating. Also I am still settling into my new job, learning lots of things.

Whatever your goals are for next month and year may you accomplish them. May your health and happiness fill you to overflowing.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Eileen says:

    Happy Anniversary! Hard to imagine you without Joe, Sam and Martin. You sound happy. Of course, having a night off from cooking or washing dishes would make me happy too! Netflix is great. About your job, what are you doing?

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