Remember college? That time in your life when an impromptu ANYTHING was just as valued as a good study session in the library.
I LOVED those impromptu moments. Like the time my roommates and I (mad at boys) belted out “You Don’t Own Me” on top of a picnic table while no one was watching. Or all the times we ran out for ice cream because our brains were on the fritz. Those four years were magical.
But now, years later, I’m starting to see that I internalized the message that “flexibility” was a must-have personality trait.
I held on to it when I became a wife and then a mom. I try to go with the flow, to
downplay make invisible my type A tendencies.
We live in a culture that values spontaneity, that looks down on quiet routines and predictable schedules. But routine doesn’t have to be boring. Routine can be just as magical as spontaneity—when you look at it through a new lens.
Two or three times a month I have a babysitter (practically the sixth member of our family!) come play with with the kids while I dash out for a little breather. I used to feel like I needed to do something different every time. Several months ago, I gave that up. I know what I like: a hot chocolate in my hands and a good work session at the library with big windows.
It has become my ritual.
It’s special. And the fact that I do it again and again only adds to its sacredness.
Calling something a ritual is the choice to look forward to it. It’s the choice to savor a small moment—and to do it again and again.
It’s the power of decision.
So whether you drive around the block three extra times on Thursdays or do yoga in your underwear on Tuesdays or sit on you back patio on clear nights, embrace the ritual.
Because whoever said spontaneity is everything clearly never did yoga in his underwear.
Thanks to Logan Cole for the beautiful photography.
The other day after school, a couple of the moms and I opened up about a subject we’ve never bonded over before: our husbands. :)
We vented a bit about feeling like we’re the quarterbacks of our families, but no one is listening to us give the plays! We chatted about how low or high our bars are for cleaning and for when our husbands do things differently. We didn’t even venture into husband/wife differences in parenting, because that’s a big subject to tackle with twelve kids running around you on a playground!
We framed the conversation with how grateful we are for our partners, but there’s no getting around the fact that two people living and raising children together are going to have differences. It’s kind of the design. :)
If you could use some understanding and encouragement, here are some of my favorite reads from around the internet. (OR just come join me at the playground next week!)
The Real Truth about Boring Men and the Women Who Live With Them: Redefining Boring. For when you need a reminder that romance doesn’t have to be flashy. (LOVE this one!)
10 Things Nobody Tells You about Being Married. Quality, no-fluff writing I’m adding to my list of required reading for my kids once they’re older. :)
How to Encourage Your Man at Work. Love Anne’s synopsis in the last paragraph. Simple but powerful.
Struggles of a Midlife Wife. My thirtieth birthday is creeping up on me, so while I’m not “midlife” yet, I do feel this tug of getting older as I get ready to say goodbye to my twenties. I thought these reflections on being midlife, almost like you’re straddling two eras of your life at once, were really relatable.
Making Way in the Wilderness: Marriage and Special Needs. A quick and uplifting read about one couple’s struggle to find each other again, after years of caring for children with special needs.
When I said my family would make up dorky handshakes and wear retro family T-shirts, I meant it. :) Family identity is more than something we talk about during the occasional family meal. It’s something we work together to define; it’s something we post on our walls. It’s something we think about on taco Tuesday or pizza Friday or during any other tradition…
There’s this moment sometimes. When you’re exploring. When you pull your van off and park on the side of a road just because you saw something cool. It wasn’t planned, and it probably couldn’t be recreated. Not just because of what happened but because of how you felt. That’s what happened to us last Saturday morning, when we were on…
“Do you have any more stories?” they say. I’d already told them about how my husband and I met; I’d told them about the first time he said I love you. (“Why were you at a park at night?” they ask. “Because you can do awesome stuff like that when you’re in college,” I answer.) So I launched into the story of how he proposed….