Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Embarking On An October Experiment

It officially feels like fall here.  I love the colors creeping into the trees.  I love being able to don sweatshirts and smartwool socks.  I love soup simmering in the kitchen.  But one thing I do not love is the upheaval of my routines and rhythms. 

The boys have been in school for almost a month now and I still feel like I just can't find a rhythm for my days.  Last year I established some routines that worked really well for me.  I was able to schedule my cleaning and exercise.  I worked hard to find a balance between activity and downtime.  Sure, there were days or weeks when life went off the tracks, but for the most part we were chugging along pretty well. 

And then fall began...

All of the routines that fit me so well, no longer fit.  I keep trying to squeeze and squish them every which way in an attempt to make them work.  But, the truth is they simply are not going to work this year.

I have spent the last month feeling frenzied.  I am always rushing.  Continually trying to shove more into the fragmented portions of my day.  Just one more thing.  I believe it will be so much better if I just quick do that one more thing.  But that one more thing snowballs into yet another.  All in an attempt to make home a desirable place to be.

The irony of that line of thinking and living is that in cramming in more and more as a means of creating a peaceful, inviting home I am actually wrecking havoc on the very place I am trying to guard. 

Yes, the dishes may all be done and the house straightened before we leave for school, but now  I am rushing around like a crazy lady.  And this crazy lady uses harsh tones of voice with her children and is creating an atmosphere of chaos and unrest during a foundational part of our day. 

Hurry, Hurry, Hurry ...

Yes, I may have accomplished my daily cleaning chore for the day and fit my run in before I needed to pick up Myles from young kinders, but the emotional and mental disaster that I left in the wake of my rushing is a steep price to pay for a clean bathroom. 

This continual loop of frenzied rushing has not produced the results that I thought it would.  Instead of getting more done I seem to keep coming up empty handed and quite frankly, tired.  Thus I have decided to embark on a month long experiment. 

I want to know, what would happen if I decided to do less.  What would my home look like?  What would our calendar look like?  Most importantly, how would the people who live in this house feel if I make a conscious choice to do life with less.

I believe that there could be many facets to this experiment.  I plan on taking time to explore different areas of my life in which I could do less.   But ultimately what I am searching to discover is would I (and my family) feel better if somethings were left undone.  Is there contentment to be found in doing less?
Maybe you would like to join me for this month.  If you have been struggling to find a balance for yourself and your family this might be a great experiment for you.  Maybe we find out at the end of the month that doing less doesn't help create a more peaceful home.  But, maybe it will.   


  1. Anne! Once again you have nailed it. "... the emotional and mental disaster that I left in the wake of my rushing is a steep price to pay for [fill in your own blank]... I read something once, "Will this matter in one minute? In an hour? In a day? In a month?" Something like that anyway. I have had to say "no" to a lot of things because of my dad's health and wanting to just "be" and enjoy our time. Anyway, I'm rambling.

    Thanks for exhorting me to examine my life and see where I'm paying dearly for valueless rushing.

    1. What a great question to ask ourselves! It helps to put things into better perspective.

  2. I, too, subscribe to 'less is more'...'balance in your life'...'everything in moderation'. So this sounds like a great experiment to me. One thought occurs to me...and it may have already occurred to you. There are certain things that, if left undone, bother me more than others. If you find the same thing, possibly you could do those things at a different time of day. Kind of a reshuffling of the schedule. Let us know how things progress. Your posts are always thought-provoking. I'm enjoying following along.

    1. Yes, you are right. I think this month will be a great way for me to learn how to best prioritize my tasks/commitments etc. and then learn how to "reshuffle" my days so that we can experience greater peace.

  3. I'm in! Doing less left us time to catch an impromptu Cubs game last night! We were fully present to enjoy the train ride and our first time at Wrigley as a family. We came home exhausted, but fulfilled and went to sleep with no guilt about what we "should" have gotten done last night! Turns out it was all still here to be done today and we survived! :)

    1. Jacqui that is awesome! This story is a great encouragement! I love how you said that you were "fully present to enjoy" What a beautiful picture of how I want to live.

  4. Anne, I didn't have time to read your post the other day the way I wanted to read it. I skimmed over it, needing to rush off somewhere. Now, I had the time, and I really read it. I loved it of course!

    I don't know if my house has ever been clean before I left for school :) There are always cereal boxes, the peanut butter and bread used for lunches, or empty spaghetti-o cans on the counter. It's just something that I admit is okay for me. I clean it up when I get back home. If it's a busy day, then my goal is to at least clean it up before Mark gets home :)

    I love your experiment, and I want to hear how it's going. Remember, it's okay to say no to others and to the pressures we put on ourselves.