Thursday, October 1, 2015

The New Normal

It has been four weeks since I was at work. I promised myself I would not try to impose any kind of schedule for four weeks. I would not impose a bedtime. I would not set an alarm. I would not force the school planning. We would do a little math and a little reading every day.

People ask how homeschooling is going and I mumble about a soft start. My focus has been on piddling and cleaning the house.

Day by day, I have awoken without an alarm, done a bit of schooling, done a bit of cleaning, stayed up as late as I cared to, and basically done what I wanted. Wow, we need a schedule.

Oh, how I wish I was a morning person! The truth is I struggle to be functional in the morning. I wake up groggy even when I have had plenty of sleep. I have known this about myself for a long time (forever), but I had hoped it was just a remnant of sleep deprivation. It's not. I hoped coffee would fix it. It doesn't. Left to my own devices, I am dressed and ready to face the day at about 11:30am, just in time to fix lunch. The day evaporates. If I could run on my own schedule, it wouldn't be a problem, but the children need me to stop spending half the morning staring into the middle distance. I need to establish our new normal.

The first step is making myself somewhat functional in the morning. I am never going to be one to jump up at the day, but there are things I can do to ease the day into motion instead of wondering what happened to it. Through some trial and error in discovery, here are some things I need to do to make my mornings work:

  1. An established bedtime. Going to sleep whenever is just pushing my day around. I need to be off the computer by 10pm to give my brain time to shut off so I can go to sleep around 11pm.
  2. Set the morning alarm. Sob. I still need an alarm in the morning, but I can set it reasonably and not the crazy early of worklife. I am thinking 6:45am might be a good wake up time.
  3. I need to say morning prayer before I do anything else. When I say I'll get back to it, I don't. Ever.
  4. I need to get dressed before I leave my room. Pajamas are a cozy way to let the morning slide right on by. Even when I plan on showering later in the morning, I still need to get into regular clothes as soon as possible.
  5. Contacts are required. There is something about having my glasses on that makes it hard for me to focus. It isn't that I can't see, although the fuzzy periphery might have something to do with it, it is that glasses signal rest time to my mind and I follow suit.
  6. A time limit on the morning Internet. Due to my previous work habits, I am very capable of spending hours refreshing the Internet. I need a hard stop time and make myself abide by it.
  7. Shoes. I don't feel like I can work without shoes on. The shoes need to be put on immediately after my Internet time is over.
  8. Breakfast. This meal cannot be pushed to whenever. We need a time we will not pass before eating. Nobody functions well on low blood sugar and late meals. I want the breakfast prep to start around 8am. 

So those are my first goals for our new schedule. Most of them center around disciplining myself in order for the day to flow. If I am ready to go in the morning, I think the rest will be easier to tackle. The alarm will be set on Monday morning.


entropy said...

Just an idea, you could let your kids stay up later and all of you get up later. My sil lets her kids stay up until 10 or 11 so that they sleep till 8 or later. That way they have breakfast around 8:30/9 and then start school.

I'm the same with the contacts. I don't get serious about the day if I have my glasses on.

Good luck with your new schedule!

Unknown said...

There is a sleep window where your body naturally wants to be asleep by 10 PM. If you miss this window, your body has trouble sleeping until 1 PM or so. Try getting in bed with electronics off by 9.30.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you're off to a good start to self discovery! FYI, even those of us who have been at home for years still struggle with all of the above.

I know some people like to scoff at Flylady's maxims, but her advice can be helpful when you are a person who struggles with routine. She's big on shining your sink to keep the kitchen functional, always putting your shoes on, and setting alarms/timers. I can't handle her many messages, but I always put on her Crisis Cleaning podcast when I have to do a fast, hard cleaning. I don't know, something about it makes me feel less alone.

Cheering you on!!!

Anonymous said...

*correction: some of us who have been home for years still struggle, that is.