Today has not felt like the best day so far. Nothing particularly bad has happened, it just seems like we’re all a little off. Or maybe it’s just me? We’ve made it through our routines, but just barely. It seems like my older kids have been bickering a little more than usual, or maybe I’m just noticing it more. Mabel was very mischievous and fussy all morning and I’m grateful that she’s napping now. I’m tempted to sit down with my knitting and re-group, but I think I’ll work a bit while my older kids play and finish up their own work. I’m glad that we have routines so that even on days that feel a little lousy, most of the necessary work gets done. Not every day can be one of those magical ones, and it’s important to be able to keep moving forward. I wrote the words that follow yesterday, and it’s interesting how today I am already finding myself needing the reminder…
I’m beginning to believe that the new “Morning Time” routine that I started a couple of weeks ago is going to stick. It all started when my sister directed me towards a homeschooling podcast geared towards supporting this practice. It’s certainly a concept that I’m familiar with, and something I did with Seth and Keats when they were small, but as the years went by, and more babies came, I fell out of the habit. However, I had been looking for a way to bring some new structure to our homeschooling days, and realized that this was just what we needed. I took the subjects and stories that I most wanted to share with my younger kids, but was failing to get around to, and started having an all ages lesson time every morning. I didn’t aim for too early in the morning, but paid attention to our natural rhythm so I wouldn’t end up feeling like a failure if we didn’t get started when I hoped. And I knew from experience not to expect it to be seamless. Job and Mabel can be pretty disruptive and I know I just have to accept that and work around it. Years ago, I suspect I would have had a harder time with that.
I tend to make fantastic plans that I don’t actually end up putting into longterm action. I aim too high and make things too complicated. And then, I want things to be “perfect.” I have a friend who has said to me more than once, “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.” I am quite guilty of doing just that.
Listening to the same podcast that got me into this new morning routine, I heard a piece of advice that I realized I had already been putting into practice lately, and I think it’s been very important. I believe it was Cindy Rollins who said, “Just do the thing.” Whatever it is you are stressing about, the thing you either want to do, or know you should be doing and aren’t, just do it. Don’t wait until you have the perfect plan, just go ahead and do it. If you are a homeschooler, don’t wait until you have figured out a way to keep the younger kids quietly occupied (there’s no foolproof way to do that unless they are asleep), just do whatever it is in the midst of chaos. And sometimes it won’t be chaotic. Somedays everything will be almost perfect. Of course on my recent day of that sort, a pipe burst and water started pouring out of the ceiling over our homeschooling table. I’ve definitely learned to laugh in the face of crazy things like that. There is no “perfect,” so why aim for it? And I think that this little motto can apply to far more than my homeschooling day:
Aim for good.