The Beauty of Routine

Spontaneous, that’s something I am definitely not.  I wince at the very thought of someone springing something on me at the very last minute. I’m a planner.  I need to know things in advance so I can prepare myself for them.

It’s not my fault. This temperament was ingrained into my very being as a child. Being raised by an ex-Army Ranger meant a lot of things; the first of which was whenever there was a problem, there was always a corresponding reference to Sun Tzu’s The Art of War . My father strongly believed that Ancient Chinese military strategies were the answer to everything, even the menial, mundane monstrosities that face adolescent girls. Growing up, I did not find them to be the most compassionate pieces of advice, or sometimes even remotely applicable. I did, however, remember one thing my father told me: “All battles are won before they are fought.”

The sole thing I did glean from that was that preparation is everything. I know there are people out there who will disagree with me and say that they perform better under pressure. Good for you. I don’t. “Off-the-cuff” has never worked for me. Now for a word from our sponsors: my fellow classmates will remember “Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance!”

MornImageings. They’re rough. I’m definitely not one of those girls that jump out of bed at sunrise ready to embrace the opportunities of a new day. I looked forward to my junior year of college solely because my Jericho contract had “expired”. This meant that I no longer had to deal with adormitorysupervisor “nudging me” out of bed five A.M. every weekday. I was free to ease myself into the morning; start the coffee (vital), arrange my outfit, read my devos andultimately just get ready in peace.  Like most people, I have found that mornings are usually easier when you have a routine in place. Doing the same thing every morning just helps me mentally prepare myself for the upcoming day.

Now that I’m home for summer, one of the things I had to work on was keeping a routine. It’s not like I’ve had too much to prepare for, but  routines keep me sane. Nine months out of the year I have a set schedule, as much as I wouldn’t admit while I was there…. I like it. I have set hours for school and set hours for work. I’m home now and I Imagereally don’t have too many set hours for anything. I know that after reading the first part of this you’re probably surprised to find that I don’t plan out every hour of my summer a week in advance. My days would start off with such good intentions and end one hour of Pinterest browsing, a couple pages of a good book, and three episodes of Mad Men later. It’s never easy to try to do something that requires self-discipline and keep yourself accountable on top of that. With the help of to-do lists and newly implanted (you guessed it!) routine I can make it.  I’m getting there, little by little.

Saying Goodbye to Summer

When I was younger, I would never admit it, but I looked forward to those final days of summer.  I couldn’t wait for school to start.  I remember running up and down the aisles of Office Depot in search of the perfect three-ring binder, dozens of mechanical pencils, that one ink pen that would glide across pages with ease and of course notebooks.  Yes, I was that nerdy child that had all the tabs in my binder labeled by hour and the first week of outfits planned in the middle of July.  I miss her.  As the years have gone by I’ve lost touch with her.

September is getting closer everyday and two suitcases lay on my bedroom floor.  Empty.  I just want to savor every last minute of summer:  spending my days poolside with an iced coffee in hand, looking at my feet and seeing flip flops and toe rings and not nylons and heels, and getting in cars with friends and just driving for the sake of driving. Maybe I feel that beginning to pack those suitcases is a type a surrender, an acknowledgment that this freedom isn’t permanent.  That like all good things, it has an end.

When I get like this I have to remind myself that if life were one perpetual lazy summer, we would tire of it and grow bored.  To that I say ” I grew up in Southern California where it is forever summer!” Haha.

On a more serious note, I accept that moving on and letting go is a part of life. We have to enjoy the moments while we have them and make memories while we can. Time stands still for no one. Carpe Diem!

Summer to me: feeling the sand and ocean under my feet:)