I've recently enjoyed great conversations with some of my readers via Skype and Facebook instant message. From where Cheryl in Ohio was sitting, I could see pretty string lights hanging on the wall behind her, and sunlight flooding through her historic farmhouse windows. We discovered we had both seen some of the same sights in Cheyenne, the capitol of Wyoming. Stephanie in California showed me a picture of her newly renovated kitchen that she designed herself, and we discovered that we have the same kitchen faucet. Fun, fun. (How could I have known that this idea of reader chats that hopped into my head one morning while I was running down a gravel road months ago would turn out to be one of my favorite parts of blogging?)
Probably the best part about my visits with these readers, besides getting to know all these beautiful ladies, was to hear their questions and requests, because, to me, blogging is so much about the conversation. One request that came up, which, interestingly, has been echoed in other readers' recent emails is this: I'd love to see what a day in the life looks like for you in winter.
Loves? That's a great idea. How about I do this in two different posts? In this one, I'll give the preface and framework, in the next I'll follow up with details.
I like to think of the entire month of January as a transition month. For me, coming off of what is always a very full December (we have three birthdays in December, plus the holidays), there simply isn't enough time to have myself settled, regrouped, and in tune with the new year and my place in it by January 1st.
So, I give myself some room, some grace, some time to let the vision develop. Out of this comes a fresh framework for my days personally, and often for our days as a family, tailored a bit from what was previous, better fitting our growing, changing lives. Surely, this will change again as the months go by, but having a steady rhythm by January's end is a good place to be.
Before I dive in, I'd just like to preface by saying that I believe we all have our own place in a 24 hour day when we're naturally most productive and alive. For some, that may be late at night, for others it's during the day. For me, it's in the morning, especially the very early morning; by nightfall, I'm toast. It's always easy for us to compare ourselves with each other and maybe come away feeling less-than because we think we might not be like the other. I'd like to remind us to find inspiration in another person's life, and make it our own. Your most beautiful, alive, and productive time might be at another time of day than mine. This is good. Find your place and settle in.
Somehow, I'm an odd mixture of wild creative and structured minimalist (case in point). I have to have freedom to move and create, and at the same time, I have to have a framework that holds everything together. One without the other would be the deadening extremes of chaos and constricting.
When I think of my winter day, I see it in general time blocks, which I have in a certain order, but whose order can change when needed. It's important to me to have restorative times in my day, thus the times of inflow to balance the times of outflow. My daily rhythm in winter looks something like this:
5:30 dress, morning watch (spiritual reading, prayer, meditation)
6:00 breakfast, lunch, dinner prep
6:45 breakfast & clean-up
7:15 knit while listening to a podcast, audiobook, or silence
9:30 shower + dress
12:00 lunch, knit, nap, read, or listen to podcast
4:00 end work, go outdoors
4:30 - 5:30 make dinner
Evenings happen as they will. The guys are usually lights out by 9:30. I'm usually lights out by 8:30.
On Monday, I'll follow up with details that may be insightful. If there are questions you'd like me to address in the follow-up post, go ahead and leave them in the comments here. And, of course, in the comments add anything you do in the rhythm of your day that's especially helpful to you. We'll all get a chance to find something new.
P.S. This post doesn't really have anything to do with our bathroom, it's just that the light was so pretty in there...