A few years ago I worked as a teaching assistant and dinner lady at a Junior School.
I don’t think I was too bad at the teaching assistant bit, but I was apparently the worst dinner lady they’d ever seen:
“Want to leave all your veg, love? Bah, go out and play! Life’s too short to bother with eating up your broccoli!”
While I may never have got the hang of badgering kids to eat their greens, I did learn a very useful lesson during my time at the school and that’s this: I thrive when I work to a timetable.
When I have a couple of hours blocked out each week to work on my kit designs, that work happens and I love the thrill of putting on a cute ‘work’ outfit and brewing a filter coffee to take over to my desk.
Okay, so my only workmates have tuna breath and enjoy flicking embellishments off my desk with their paws, but still: in my head, I’m the twenty-something me striding around in the publishing world.
When it’s on my plan, a little bit of housework gets done each day and the result is that things stay pretty much organised and more or less clean.
I find I can handle socialising when any gatherings are planned for and part of the schedule of an otherwise quiet day.
And when my morning ‘mental health’ walk is there on the chart, it feels a lot harder to skip.
That hour stops feeling like a time-wasting indulgence, and becomes something that just happens.
And each walk leaves me feeling better in almost every way: more connected to my little town, more grateful for the day and breathing just a little more deeply.
Perhaps it’s just my ‘good girl’ mentality, but I’m noticing that deciding how I want my week to look – then making sure that each thing happens – is bringing me so much joy.
Just don’t turn up unannounced when the chart has me down for baking: I will get you doing the washing up!
How about you? Do you thrive on routine or does a more go-with-the-flow approach suit you better? Be sure to let me know!