I’ve been thinking about routines a lot as I work to make over my mornings.
Routines and I have a bit of a love/hate relationship.
On one hand, I love how routines take some of the brain work out of everyday situations. When I’m in a good routine I don’t always have to think about what I need to do next. I also love how productive and intentional I’m able to be when a routine is running smoothly.
However, I can also get bored with routines and want to kick them to the curb in the name of excitement and spontaneity.
I think we all can agree that a routine that isn’t working for us needs to be tweaked and tried again.
But, what about a routine that’s working well, one that is providing structure to our day and making our tasks easier. Is it ever okay to break a good routine?
My simple answer is yes.
[Tweet “Remember your routines are tools, not dictators.”]
When you come across a situation that would cause you to break your routine, simple consider if the benefits of the special occasion outweigh the benefits of the routine.
For the past week I’ve been working hard to set myself up for each day the night before. I’ve been striving to start each day ahead with a clean slate, a plan, a decent night’s sleep, and time spent in God’s word.
But then we managed to get tickets to a witness a rare natural phenomenon—a species of firefly that synchronizes their blinks during a short window of their mating season.
The problem was, it would be a VERY late night. That means it would completely throw off my evening routine, my sleep, the sleep of my children, and my morning routine.
In this case, Tim and I decided it was worth it to keep the four older kids out late. (But, I also needed to realize that while it was okay to break my routine it was not realistic to think that my day would run as smooth as it would if we all had gone to bed at our normal time.)
Taking a break from my normal routines made for a late night, but it also gave me the opportunity to make special memories with my children.
We found a narrow path through the woods and sprawled out on blankets with snacks as we waited for darkness to fall.
Then, as the sun set and it grew dark, the fireflies emerged. Slowly at first, with a few here and a handful there.
Then in larger numbers,
until it was as though stars were twinkling all around us.
Sure, we were a little tired (and cranky) the next day, but it was worth it to share this amazing experience with my kids!