I circle days on my calendar that are considered vacation. This is to make these particular days stand out. To remind me there is a day or group of days that life will follow a different rhythm. Hopefully a rhythm of rest. And possibly adventure.
Rest and adventure? Those two things seem like opposites. How can I dream of the two at the same time. I wonder if they are two sides of the spectrum of my normal life. The pace and go in the routine of my daily life doesn’t often leave room for rest or adventure daily.
As I think about that more, I feel like I am missing out on something in my daily life. I don’t want to only look forward to vacation days. I want to look forward to every day. I want to live out of a place of rest and always looking for adventure in every day.
I think this is possible because I have experienced it, if we plan our rest and give ourselves margin to see the adventure.
What does that mean? Having a plan.
Planning doesn’t seem that adventurous. It seems like a plan.
Here is what I am thinking. When I go through my days without a plan, I am literally running on autopilot and always thinking about the next thing. I am not present in the moment. This often leads to me hurrying and ordering. And it is not a good thing when the kids get home from school and there are no snacks in the house, no ideas for dinner and you need to run to the store before heading to gymnastics. Life turns into putting out fires. I automatically have no margin to even see the possibility for adventure. I am running around, my autonomic nervous system (fight or flight) is controlling my every move. Fight or flight is exactly how it feels. I find myself fantasizing about bedtime. Then when I finally get to bed, my mind is going back through the day, thinking of all the things I didn’t get accomplished and restful sleep alludes me.
Yeah, that sounds about right.
However, lets replay the normal day when we have planned an prepared. I am not always thinking about the next thing, because I know the next thing is ready. I know what food we have at home to offer my kids after school. Dinner has been planned and prepped. Literally all I need to do is combine the ingredients and allow it to cook together. Because there isn’t an extra grocery stop before gymnastics, we have time to “adventure.” I am present. The fear that causes the hurry lessens. I have seen this time fill with meeting a need of someone we know or we don’t know. We can try skateboarding for the first time. We can play in the snow for a few minutes. We can listen to the stories of a 4 year old. We can listen to the new things learned by a 6 year old. We can get a clear picture of how an 8 year will solve the problems of the world. The days are full, but when bedtime comes my mind can truly rest.
Maybe rest and adventure aren’t so polar as I thought.
So how do you plan days?
I have learned to plan my days according to things I cannot change. School starts at the same time every day. Work days start at the same time. Any appointments, meetings, or lessons are scheduled. I put all of this on a calendar. From there I plan meals. This is not just dinner. I plan what the whole family will eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. From here I create a grocery list. Then I make sure that I shop for the food on that grocery list. Once the food is in the house, I plan a time that I can prep that food for eating. Most of the time Sunday afternoons or evenings. This is the time I have greater opening in my days. As a family we try to have Sundays be low key for this particular reason.
During this time I chop vegetables and wash fruit. I will cook some chicken that we will take in our lunches. I will make egg muffins, bacon, or sausage that I can reheat in mornings. Food is a huge stress for most people. We have bought into the fable that it is too time consuming and expensive to cook at home. But that is not true.
Following a plan for your week will give you margin in your life to stop the hurry and to be present. Allowing you to look for adventure from the rest your have received.