An important component of being happy at home is to be busily, cheerfully and productively employed. It doesn't mean running around from the moment you get up and until you go to bed; the daily rhythm has its ebb and flow, busy hours and quiet hours. But it's so satisfying to look back at the end of a day, on all the cooking and baking, cleaning and laundry, ironing and sewing, decorating and schooling, and to think how much your family has benefited from your efforts. A day of good hard work right here at home is one of the things I enjoy the most.
I have learned that getting up early is a big help to having a productive day, as well as a major stress reducer. Getting up early enables you to get dressed and have a cup of coffee while slowly thinking about what you are planning to do today, and start your work when you still have an entire morning stretching out ahead of you. I don't know about you, but I'm most productive in the mornings.
However sometimes, it just isn't meant to be. There were many mornings which I spent in bed, nursing little hungry Shira in the middle of a growth spurt. Sometimes I went to bed very late the night before - if I didn't get to sleep before 2 or 3 A.M., I'm still a zombie around 8. There were many days when by the time I was dressed and ready to go, the morning was already gone, the list of chores remained untouched, and I found myself wondering how I'm ever going to accomplish anything when my day is so unstructured.
Even if you get up late for some reason, or have to run out early in the morning before beds were made and last night's dishes were washed, it's never too late to turn that day into a productive one. Yes, perhaps the day will not be one for great achievements, but once you have tidied up, you can turn your attention to doing some odds and ends which don't take much time, but somehow don't get done as often as you wish. Don't we all have those?
It's amazing how not following a routine can make us feel disoriented. Remember the wasps that favored our grape vine last summer? Well, the grapes are here again, and so are the wasps. It is literally frightening to get out of the house during the day. While I might dash out to throw out the garbage, or pass through a neighbour's yard to get to the grocery store, I have found that I absolutely cannot hang the laundry during the day - the grapes are right near my clothesline. So I do the laundry in the evenings now, while it has always been a morning chore for me. A small change, but it requires adjustment nonetheless.
Instead of giving up and saying, "since I'm unable to follow my routine, I declare this is a wasted day", you can acknowledge the fact that you might do less than you planned, and pick up where you left. For me, those little spots of sane productivity in a rollercoaster day can be: cleaning the stove; cleaning the toilets; cleaning mirrors; dusting; cooking something quick, tasty and healthy; writing out a shopping list or planning tomorrow's meal. It doesn't take much time, but it sure gives a feeling of a spruced-up home and a yummy-smelling kitchen.
And remember, tomorrow will always be another day.