Research and life experience show that routine in our lives is not only important, it is essential for prioritizing what is most valuable to us and also getting to those things that are most necessary. While I do not naturally seek out routine, I find that I am naturally drawn to it - I tend to do those things in my week that I have on my calendar and set "repeat" for. As a family we do family movie and pizza night on Fridays and my children look forward to it all week long (arguing all the way as to who gets to choose the movie!). But as summer unfolds and we get to sleep and wake with a more relaxed schedule, I notice the relief in just letting it be what it is. Sure, I try and still have a few important things that I get to - like picking blueberries before they are gone and going swimming as much as possible. But it is with repeated consistency that I find all the plans I make for summer break just drop off one by one as we meander through June and finally by July, I just give up. There is no "art project of the week" nor do I make it to yoga more than once the whole summer. But what I find is the freedom of letting the day be what it is. No one is rushed and we get in a lot of playing, random projects and spontaneous dinners with friends. I go outside and pick my hydrangeas and take the time to make a bouquet for the house. I let my children make breakfast....from scratch....and then coerce them to mostly clean up. It is good and I am so glad for this detachment from schedule. But as the end of summer break approaches and we all are getting a little tired of each other, I realize that we are ready for routine again. Where the groceries are purchased regularly, the laundry gets done and there is a clearer rhythm to our days. We all balk at first but my guess is that we are privately happy to have it again, or maybe just I am. And my invitation to you is to be filled with gratitude for the slower paced spontaneity that you've enjoyed all summer long. And now, embrace the rhythm of routine realizing that it too, can fill your life with pleasure.
Kimberly Simpson, a native of New Jersey, graduate of Wheaton College and resident of Nashville. Married and mother of three children. Lover of the ocean, gardens, yoga, cooking and travel.