Have you ever forgotten something because you changed your routine? The other day, I changed the order of my shower and completely forgot to condition my hair. I realized this after it dried and felt like a scarecrow. How could I have left out something I've done as long as I can remember? I'm a creature of habit, and have found if I stray from my norm, it rocks my world.
I get up and do things in the same order every morning. Brush my teeth, put on the coffee, read my devotional, fix my coffee, check email....you get the idea. However, if I get distracted and tackle anything outside of my normal routine, I often leave things undone, such as making the coffee. Now, I'm no good to anyone without my morning java. The mornings without my cup of joe have resulted in me trying to function in a dazed stupor and frustrating myself and all others around me. Not good. I'll walk in a room and not remember why I needed to be there. One tiny distraction that sent me off on a goose chase could affect my entire morning. Why is that?
I've had to search for car keys because I left them in a different spot. I've hunted jackets, shirts, scarves, etc. because I didn't hang them in their normal section of the closet. I've lost hours of my life looking for things that should be where I know they should be, but aren't because life distracted me from putting them in their proper place.
This exasperating phenomenon only began during the past decade of my life. Previously, I rarely misplaced things. I didn't own a junk drawer. (Now I have two!) I was annoyingly compulsive about where things belonged. "Everything has its place" was my mantra, and I was painstakingly obsessive about it. I constantly tried to train my boys to do the same, with little success. Over time, I've either loosened up or I'm losing it. Whatever the reason, it's driven me a tad more crazy than normal. I don't think I'm to the point of needing medical attention, so put down your phone. I'm providing full disclosure because I don't think I'm alone, and this ole gal has learned a few things through this aging process that are golden.
Because I don't have to live under the yoke of a color coded calendar toting children to various activities, I've been able to live my life a bit more freely. I no longer preside over 500+ member PTAs. I'm not a team mom whose son informed her that it's our day to provide snacks and drinks after we're in the car on the way to the game. (If you're in this stage of life, soak it up! It will be gone in a flash) Although I miss the carpooling days from time to time, it's nice to drive a vehicle that doesn't smell like dirty football socks. That's a scent that takes weeks to fade! A gallon of air freshener and dryer sheets tucked in every nook and cranny only made it bearable. Now that I'm out of that season, my life is more my life. It's not always a bad thing, I must confess.
I've gotten better about not sweating the small stuff. (I said "gotten better". I know I have room for improvement!) Do I occasionally have a mild freak out about clothes on the floor? Sure. But I don't let it consume my entire day. Allowing little things to drive me bonkers did more harm than good. It's simply a waste of time.
I've learned that planning too much can be too much. I've allowed myself time to relax. "Just hanging out" with my family is one of my favorite things to do. It's not important to have every second scheduled with meaningless activities. Sitting around laughing on the back patio has bonded us more than any of those things ever did. I treasure our time of "doing nothing". Do I love a road trip? You know I do, but now I make time for 'down time' in-between.
I'm embracing my junk drawers. I'm embracing my flashes of forgetfulness. I'm embracing the morning routines as well as the unscheduled free time. Growing older means growing wiser. Some things that were super important in my 30s and 40s just aren't anymore. I'm not even going to mention my 20s, because I had no clue what I was doing back then!
Life brings change, it's inevitable. I've found that it's less stressful to be flexible and adjust than to get your panties in a wad. Learn to laugh at yourself instead of beating up on yourself. Don't get offended by every. little. thing. Look for ways to spread love. Stop trying to impress others, and live your best life. 'Keeping up with the Joneses' gets you nowhere, and who are the Joneses anyway? (disclaimer: if your last name is actually Jones, I don't mean to offend. It's an unfortunate saying.) Hug more. Smile more. Forgive more. Appreciate what you've been given and give thanks to the Man above for all your blessings. If I walk around with scarecrow hair for a day, who cares? It's just a day. I'm grateful I still have a full head of unconditioned hair and coffee every morning! Praise God for coffee. Can I get an "Amen"?
Are you a creature of habit? Have you learned to let go a little? I'm a sponge for words of wisdom, so post some below. I need all the help I can get!
bethroperstewart.com to subscribe and see all my latest blunders.