In the Raw: Finding Normal

Remembering what life was like last year about this time… so thankful there are no boxes this year and rhythms and routines have found their grooves. Since life always brings change, I think “Rhythm Finder” sounds good on my resume, don’t you?!

If you’ve ever moved or have struggled to find your new normal after a huge change in your life… this post is for you. **fist raised** SOLIDARITY!

I’m a creature of habit and a hater of change. Mess with both and I get intense feelings of overwhelm and insanity. Oh, and habit is incredibly difficult for me to create, as much as I crave it. Once I have it, I’m loathe to let it go.

Enter moving our family of 5 in one month. Yes. Start to finish – even selling our old house was done in 30 days. (For the record… I don’t recommend it.) You may have noticed the absence of posts from April to May? Yep. Now you know the reason.

Habits are meant to be broken, you might say. Well, okay but no.

Writing is a habit not a diet. I have to fight for that habit the same way a kayaker has to continually fight to keep balance. Even though it feeds my soul and makes me feel alive, the fight to keep the habit can be exhausting with so many other big things going on.

In the not too distant past, I would’ve been discouraged by the change and given up. It sounds as lame as it really is. But this time, I’ve kept on with even a little bit because of my amazing writer’s group! Twice a month we meet over lunch and bring our work (or not, sometimes) and just encourage each other to keep striving for the BIC Award! (Butt In Chair)

This week was the typical struggle: laundry or writing. It’s not always this easy to solve, but I started a load of laundry before I sat down with my trusty laptop. The resulting article was nothing big or amazing or even something I would publish but the very act of choosing that part of myself over the daily-gotta-do-again-tomorrow left me feeling uniquely alive.

I want to skip over the trial and error that always comes with figuring out new rhythms in life: the new best time to fully focus on writing, the routine to bring down laundry from the kids bedrooms, the routine to keep the house de-cluttered, the load-a-day-keeps-the-naked-people-away routine, and let’s be honest: even getting a consistent time with God needs to rediscovered and refitted into this new normal.

Now that school is out for the summer – there is the added rhythm of summer that sounds uncannily like Jamaican steel drums. Slow yet fast, surprising, a beat all it’s own. The silver lining is that I never found our School Rhythm so figuring out our Summer Rhythm can’t be that difficult. ha.

Somewhere in between the science camps the boys have next week (that I registered way  before we knew we were moving 20 minutes further away) and picking strawberries and making jam and ranch camp, diving camp and tennis camp and camping as a family… we will be finding our new normal, our summer rhythm and making this new house into our home.

This year, our summer looks similar with a missions trip to Haiti, a wedding in Chicago, Mackinac Island Honor Scouts, ranch camp, various times camping as a family, and school now starting in August with rocket football right after that… but margin and rest with a few popsicles and books mixed in will define our summer. Yes. I’m ready. Bring it, Summer! 

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4 thoughts on “In the Raw: Finding Normal

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  1. Wow – I hear you! I retired in December, and finding that new normal and its attendant habits is definitely a struggle. Fitness! Laundry! (The load-a-day-keeps-the-naked-people-away – I LOVE it!!!) Decluttering! Ugh. And I don’t have kids to deal with. It’s a new world.

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    1. A new normal – well, whatever that is outside the setting on the dryer 😉 Any change can throw us but I’m learning to find margin and I’m the process – normal find me. —thanks for your kind words! 🙂

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  2. That steel drum image is so spot on, Ruth. A beat all its own. Yeah, that’s me too. And dare I say, many many years down the road from where you are with littles, the challenge to find a writing rhythm is still here. You got me thinking about how often my rhythms have changed . . . some waltzes and lots of Irish step dancing where things are moving so fast but I look like I’m holding it all together. 😉

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    1. That was the amazing thing about Breathe last year! I finally got it through my head that there’s no “arrival” point as a writer/author. You’re always in the mess of doing it and the struggle is very real – even for the author who has people bashing down their door for their work. Irish step dancing… oh yes – because looking like we’ve got it is such a fun fantasy!!

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