Chad and I are starting a new routine. It involves doing a little bit of cleaning, a workout, and a little time for both of us to write, all in the hours after work. It’s ambitious, we know. But it’s summer so the days feel longer, giving us extra time to get things done. I’m optimistic.
Tonight was the first night of that new routine, and our goal was to finish everything in time to go to bed by 10 p.m. (also ambitious for us since usually we stay up quite late). It’s 11 p.m. and we’re just getting to the writing time. But we did all the things! We cleaned and did dishes, and worked out, and Chad even made a delicious dinner of homemade pasta with homemade pesto. So tonight, I’m proud of our new routine.
For me, the problem of routines has always been that they only work when everything feels routine. The moment something– anything– feels out of place, the first thing to go is a well-choreographed routine.
The last time Chad and I started a workout routine, it lasted about three weeks, which is a long time if you ask me. I mean, we even took the workout DVDs to California with us– that’s how dedicated we were. But then, something happened. It turned out to be nothing, but we didn’t know it at the time, and it made everything feel suddenly very hard. And that was the end of the workout routine.
It doesn’t have to be major– a bad day at work, a fight with a friend, a sadness you can’t seem to shake. It’s hard to fight against these things. It’s hard to keep going, and keep doing those things you’ve promised yourself you would do. I find promises to myself are the easiest ones to break, after all.
But even after we’ve broken a routine, we try to create new ones. It’s been over a month since we gave up on our last workout routine, and now, here we are combining that same exercise series with two other tasks each night: cleaning and writing. We talked over dinner this evening about what it will take. For me, the hardest part is coming home from work, enduring the commute, and feeling tempted to just sit down on the couch and turn on the never-ending flow of TV brought to us by Netflix. When I’m tired and tired of driving and want to put the day behind me, lounging and distracting my brain with episodes of House or some HGTV show are all that goes through my mind.
But inertia works in my favor. As long as I don’t actually sit on the couch, I can keep going. If I come home from work and keep moving from task to task, from dishes to exercising to cleaning the bedroom to writing a blog post, then everything gets accomplished.
I just have to hope nothing interrupts that constant force of energy or knocks me off course because then, well, how can I expect myself to actually keep going?
I’m still optimistic though. Because all these things we’re trying to work into the routine are good, important things– things that will make us healthier and help us feel more accomplished. And we’re doing them together.
So, day one– done. And right now, that’s good enough.