I used to rebel against anything that had too much structure, process or system. I was always more of a free-wheeling, fly by the seat of my pants, kinda girl. (what does that even mean, to fly by the seat of your pants?)
Now my life is largely defined by things I do consistently, and on purpose. I’m not completely sure, but it might have started with a software program I use at work – where every day I time a 22-minute television show down the exact second. I don’t even know how my number-aversion-self learned to do that, but here we are. And while I don’t have my personal life planned that accurately, I have learned how to set my pace.
I’ve finally grown up, and now understand the value of rhythm.
Every night, I do the following things:
- Turn on all the Dollerama mini-light strings I have around the house because I like cozy.
- Light a few candles because I like fire.
- Go for a walk because I like my clothes to fit, and it clears my mind. (and my kids come.)
- Clean the kitchen. (Even though by bedtime there are at least 10 peanut butter spoons in the sink. You know who you are.)
- Set my coffee for the morning. (Jen Hatmaker calls this being nice to your morning-self, I concur.)
- Set my stretchy pants out for the morning, so I can easily get dressed before I stumble out to my home office.
- Read my Bible App.
- Put a glass of water beside my bed for the night. (Jen Hatmaker would also approve.)
Now don’t get me wrong. Sometimes everything breaks loose and I miss a night of my best things. I’m not a robot, I still love fun and being spontaneous as much as I can. Other days, I say “forget it” and go sit by the water and cry-talk to the sky. I live in a house with loud, passionate, sometimes crazy people (did I mention they are loud?) and we try to get through each day of messy-love-family life the best we can.
But no matter what happens around me,
I keep going back to my rhythm.
I was always afraid that doing things too purposefully would rob me of creativity, imagination and freedom- but it’s actually the opposite.
Rhythm has helped me focus.
Rhythm has balanced out my life.
Rhythm is helping me accomplish things.
Rhythm has helped me set a pace.
I don’t know about you, but I feel lots of uncertainty in life sometimes. I trust the way-maker, but I can’t always see the way. I trust the provider, but I can’t always see the provision. I trust the one who sets my days, but I can’t always face the day. I trust the comforter, but I don’t always feel the comfort.
In what can feel like chaos, rhythm brings me peace.
It reminds me who I am. And, the purposes and plans for my life require that I move and live, with intention and participation.
Especially now – with endless spaces of time ahead and behind, and no clear definition of what the future looks like. Rhythm-life is what is getting me through. Structure in a undefined world is exactly what this girl needs.
Maybe, what we all need.
So set a pace.
Time out your days.
Do things on purpose.
Even if you miss a beat here or there it’s ok.
Look for your rhythm,
and you’ll find your peace.