Our family does not live by a schedule in any way shape or form. None of us like them– our whole family gets horribly stressed with a schedule. I know there are people out there who NEED a list or schedule, who thrive if they know what is going to happen today, tomorrow, next week. We are not those people. Knowing I have to do something at a specific time next week stresses me out for the whole time preceding that activity and I find it impossible to focus on the other things I need to get done in that time.
However, we do seek patterns, rhythms that help us discern what comes next depending on the season we are in. The times change as does the order but there is a general idea in everyone’s head as to what is likely to happen on any given day.
A lot of our rhythm focuses on my husband and where he is in his odd 26 hour day wake/sleep cycle. When he is sleeping from 4am to 12pm our rhythm as a family is different than when he is sleeping from 4pm to 12am. It also focuses on how many hours he is working. When he is working 40 hr weeks (almost never) our family rhythm is different than when he is working 60 or 80 hr weeks (as he has been for the last 12 months.)
There are also certain elements that are always included in our family rhythm while others are seasonal. Always included of breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack. Always included is a daily reading of the Bible as a family. Those are givens though sometimes breakfast is the big meal while in other seasons snack is and in some seasons we read just 1 chapter of the Bible quickly with little discussion and others we read many and discuss every few seconds of reading. Of course one other given is sleep. We all need a lot of sleep (with the RA I need about 10 hrs) so sleep is always a given. On a weekly basis our rhythm nearly always includes a trip to the library, a trip to my grandmother’s (1/2 hr drive away and takes most of the afternoon evening), a trip to the thrift shop (or three), an hour of everyone cleaning up the house so that we can all move without stumbling on things left behind, and a trip to the grocery store.
Right now we are in a season and look to be shifting to a new one because of changes in weather and hubby’s sleep and changes in which days he has “off” (from his programming job so he can work on his writing which is his other job–he only takes 1 day off completely a week– Saturday which he jealously guards). It is also changing because I am working about 20+ hours a week on various projects.
For the past week our rhythm has included me making all meals (because of re-instituting the Candida diet), driving to the pond to swim twice a day (because the afternoons are way too hot and one hour swimming in the morning and one in the evening have been working well for the kids), a quiet time in the afternoon so I can work and run errands because the kids are worn out after all that swimming, and an evening reading of the Bible before we head back to the pond.
Right now we are in a state of flux. Hubby’s sleep has shifted again, I have work to get done, the weather has cooled a bit so that an afternoon swim is probably the best choice, we would like to fit a trip to one of the Pittsburgh museums in on a weekly or at least biweekly basis, Rachel is going to be working on piano with a friends daughter, and Essie wants to go to a performing arts camp next week (I am praying they have an opening–have to call today and find out), and the kids are settling into the Candida diet and getting comfortable so I don’t have to fix their every meal. It will be interesting to find the next pattern, to see the next rhythm.
Already the kids are staying up later and sleeping in longer so they have more time with Daddy while he is awake but I happen to know there is a game on his computer that ONLY works on his computer that we are all aching to play and that some of the time he is asleep is going to be spent playing it. Already they are asking less to go to the pond for a swim and instead are spending lots and lots of time drawing or playing with Legos (Issac is trying to design a robot that utilizes water in its design– inspired by Falling Waters and a water works plant that has a huge built in waterfall on the side on the way to the Science Center.) The girls are spending a lot of time playing with friends on Build-a-bear and Skype and reading.
And so we will see where it leads and what God has planned for us next. Regardless, it won’t be boring which is great because I hate too much repetition and adore change and the good Lord knew that when He gave me this wonderful, ever changing family.