So Wednesday came and went…

only for me to – finally – work out what was missing. Yeah. I hadn’t scheduled or published a blog post.

I’ve a number of posts in draft, in various stages of W-I-P, where I hone, craft, fiddle about with, and wonder whether I want to finish… you get the picture. And I think I simply got bored, or distracted, or something.

But now isn’t the time to overthink that particular scenario… now it’s the time to get fingers to keyboard and produce a post so I kind of, almost, keep my posting commitment on track.

Over here in the UK, we’re on our second week of having a public holiday on the Monday. So, a second week where we have a 4-day week. You’d not think that was something to complain about, would you? No, me neither. Not until I found myself complaining quite how much it had discombobulated me.

I’m going to park that for a moment.

It wasn’t just the sequence of 4-days weeks which did for me. There’s also been a major change in my work schedule. I’ve been working for a while as a coach alongside my day job, changing my schedule AGES ago when I first started training, as my studies required one day a week of on-site study.

Over time, my day job’s hours and salary reduced on a floating, flexible basis, as that’s what suited them best. But it’s also come with a continued requirement that I prioritise clients – the day job’s clients, not mine – so has been a constant thorn in my side. This year, I put my foot down and insisted on a change to more fixed days, when I’ll prioritise my clients and not theirs.

That happened 4 weeks ago. While I work at persuading my existing clients to switch to the new schedule (they’ve been annoyingly resistant to change – feel free to laugh at me for this observation when you read further), and as I’ve yet to sign-up additional new clients, I’ve been using the time to get all the other stuff done – you know things like writing fiction, producing blog posts, visiting art galleries, taking photographs and the like. All the stuff that usually gets shoehorned in around my day job.

But then, after just 2 weeks and with all that lovely space in my diary, entirely clear and guilt free time to use, I seem to have hit the buffers. It’s like the last couple of weeks have felt like a holiday and, now that I’m “back at work”, I’m struggling to hit my stride with the new routine.

How did this happen? Me, who Himself accuses of being a freewheeling hippy? Has he somehow managed to train me persuade me as to the benefit of routines and regimes?

Have you learned something new and unexpected about yourself recently? Are you the freewheeling type, or do you favour routines and regimes?

© Debra Carey, 2023

24 thoughts on “So Wednesday came and went…

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  1. I do best with routines, including a scheduled break. I’m goal oriented, and I like to get stuff done, but once the child came along, I discovered I’d get really snappish by the afternoon if I did not take a break or some time for myself. It’s probably because parenting is never-ending when your child is awake.

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  2. I like routines, and…I like breaks from them. But mostly, I like them. When I was teaching, I noticed that we all did best when we had a stretch of regular, 5-day weeks. We’d always start the year strong in Sept to mid-Oct, and then the disruptions started: parent conferences, grading days, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving, and the winter holidays. Because my school was on an every-other-day schedule, I sometimes went nearly a week between classes with some students. I really struggled to get any kind of momentum going. Felt like we were constantly starting over. I notice the same thing with writing: when I have a consistent writing practice, the writing is different. Easier and better. So, good for you for sticking to your schedule!

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  3. I think I’m always learning something new about myself, because life always puts new and unusual situations in front of us and we’re always trying to meet the challenge. You know I’m the most routine of people

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  4. Definitely free wheeling, something I learned about myself a few years ago. Prior to that I scheduled every hour of my day, but ultimately tired out from the self-imposed pressure to stick to a pre-determined routine. Now I trust myself more, do what needs to be done, in my own way. And I enjoy the freedom to experience life more fully that comes with it.

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  5. I’m very much a routine-oriented person. Clearly I get that from my parents, or specifically, my dad: he’s extremely rigid. I’m not quite that bad, because his stick-to-it-iveness drives me up the wall.

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  6. I’m intrigued with how you phrase your end-post query, Debs. I’m definitely a routine-oriented, as is my wife. But I’ve never looked at myself within that specific prism. Rather, I’ve always seen myself — not necessarily in a positive way either — as being incorrigibly linear. It’s not so much that I need the familiar structure (which I do), but for me it’s that it has to be in the same exact order. Watching me cook is apparently hilarious; watching me dress, not so much. Anyway, I totally get how you feel. We like to have our order. – Marty

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  7. Autumn, I used to be brutally organized and a prolific list maker (and ticker off of items thereon) and when I was a working mother, it was absolutely vital. But, I rebelled in my 40s, and have never quite worked out how to get a workable balance between being organised and not hidebound by routine and regimes. I get that routines work for getting things done when we’re busy people, but I want to be able to float about reacting when and how I want *in the moment*. It’s a constant battle with myself, so Himself – with all his routines – can be both an inspiration *and* a thorn in my side. 😀

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  8. Yup, Rita, this exactly! My experience tells me that things work better when there’s regularity and routine, but that freewheeling hippy inner me wants to break free when things get too tightly regimented. So… I just need to work out a way to have schedule down time… except that feels so wrong. My coach tells me that’s a mindset thing (and I don’t doubt that she’s right) so I will continue to work on my mindset to work out a way to have my cake and eat it too! 😀

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  9. Yes, you’re the doyenne of routine and organisation 🙂 What I’m deeply envious of is that you don’t appear to feel in anyway hamstrung by it.

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  10. This is the battle I’m having with myself Ally. Wanting one thing, while knowing that in order to achieve another thing I need to have a level of proper routine. I’d say I just have to wait until I’m retired to indulge my freewheeling hippiness totally, except that Himself will be retired too and he simply cannot freewheel… So I’m trying to figure out a way to be organised and regimented for part of my week, and allow freewheeling reactivity for the rest. I guess when I put it like that, it’s no wonder it’s taking more than 4 weeks to find my feet.

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  11. Gosh Mark, reading your comment hit me right in the feels. I can see that I’m trying to achieve what my Dad did. He was a responsible sort, a man you could totally rely on, yet he was not rigid at all. He didn’t appear personally restricted or limited by doing what had to be done, and found a way to enjoy life and to fill his cup (rather like you appear to do if you don’t mind me saying).

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  12. Ah Marty, was it the first part of my end-post query, or the latter? I recognise Himself in your linearity – he has a similar need. Woe betide me if I try to talk to him or get in his way when he’s dressing, or making coffee, or cooking… For things to go right, he believes they need to be done in the exact same order, and I can see it seriously discombobulates him if they can’t be, so have learned to (largely) let him be.

    The first part of my end-post query relates to fact that I’m surprised to find myself having difficulty with *change* when that’s not only what I do but what I believe makes me thrive. It’s been a helpful experience, as I now have a decidedly visceral idea of what my clients might be feeling.

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  13. Being organized gives me freedom because I know when things will be done and where things are and control, even if it’s just over a kitchen cabinet. That’s peace of mind

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  14. Maybe the trick is to be routine during part of the day, freewheeling another part of the day. That’s really what I do, now that I think about it. In the mornings I tend to rely on plans and routines and being *responsible* while the rest of the day I’m more of a go with the flow person, doing whatever in the moment.

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  15. Yes, I’d like to have this feeling. I know a big part of the problem is that I still have to balance the expectations of my day job which are unreasonable and intrude on my ability to get stuff done as I never know when they’re going to happen. Hopefully, one day in the not too distant future, that will be in my rear view mirror. But, for now, I have to juggle 🙂

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  16. That’s actually a practical way to work it, thanks Ally. I need to get back to getting up early again, as it really was a game changer. We’re both early to bed due to Himself’s job, but I’ve drifted into reading in bed at night which means I’m not getting up in the morning as early as I used to.

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  17. Ha ha! I’ve got so much more to achieve and get done that I’ll be welcoming change for a while yet Marty – I feel for Himself, truly I do 😉

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  18. Interesting question, Debs. I tend to like routine, but have been much more freewheeling now that I am retired. Similar to what Ally said, I have a morning routine now, but tend to go with the flow the rest of the day.

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  19. Yes Ally’s idea chimed with me Christie. Now I just need to get myself up earlier in the morning, as I’m not a morning person and have slipped back into later starts again.


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