Are you a “list” person? I’m not. Well, not really. I mean, there are times when lists come in handy for me. Our family frequently has several kids at a time involved in various sports activities, I work from home and we home-school (this year, six students); so, yeah, lists serve a purpose when my brain simply can’t keep track of everything I might be responsible for remembering on a given day.
I also use individual student lesson planners to help my children add structure, routine and organization to their learning time at home. Over the years, however, I have “been there, done that” when it comes to allowing the list/planner to control me rather than assist me.
I read a book once – okay, part of book, (since I never actually finished it because it was making me feel so stressed just to read it that I couldn’t imagine actually living that way) where the author’s intent was to help people bring order, structure and routine to their daily lives. This particular author seemed to believe the key factor to such bliss was “lists” — lots of them. She believed every moment of one’s day should be planned, and suggested having sticky notes on mirrors and lists on refrigerators, pocket planners to carry wherever one may go, and other assorted notes and messages posted around the house to keep everyone on track and functioning according to “the plan.”
The book suggested planning everything from the time we awake in the morning to when/what we eat, and, also weekly, monthly and annual schedules for things like wiping down the baseboards, cleaning window blinds, arranging closets, etc…
I’m the type of person who believes having a routine is healthy and promotes a peaceful, productive atmosphere within the home. However, I also think that if the “plan” for the day says one thing, but something happens that leads us to digress, then it’s okay to ditch the plan and roll with the new idea.
If “the all-governing schedule” says we are supposed to be doing the dishes at such and such a time, but a beautiful sunshine beckons us outdoors and the kids are asking to have a picnic in the yard, then why not change things up a bit and let the dishes sit? Life is short.
I don’t see the benefit of having a planner if we become enslaved to it. Also, if I can tune in to the Holy Spirit’s presence and guidance in my day, what I had planned and what I feel He may be calling me to do might be two different things. If I tune out the Divine whisper because whatever it is telling me to do is not “on my list” I could miss out on some pretty awesome blessings. I also many who are too hard on themselves when they don’t check every item off their lists. It becomes an obsession where completing the list takes priority over the experiences.
I might make a list of the errands I need to run on a particular day, a suggested framework for our school lessons, or ideas for my next garden, etc…but, I’ll pass on scheduling a time (in writing!) to brush my teeth, exercise, clean the garage or play with my kids. Sometimes, ditching the plan is the spice of life that leads to the memories I cherish most.
Judy Dudich resides in the beautiful woods of Pennsylvania, where 24 acres of land and a home-office provide the perfect setting for her children’s home-education and her own homesteading and business ventures. Life is full of blessings (and challenges!) for Judy, as a wife, mother of 10 and Grammy to six. She is a published author, whose book, “I Surrender/A Study Guide for Women” continues to encourage and support others in Christian family lifestyles throughout the world. Judy has also previously worked in the online speaking circuit. Her passion for permaculture, re-purposing, foraging and organic gardening fills her days with learning and adventure that she loves to share.