Summer of 2020. It’s starting out as usual in some ways… laps in my dad’s pool, movie nights, and eating ice cream; but in many ways it will be different. My family’s annual Fourth of July party has been canceled. Birthday and graduation celebration plans are up in the air. I’m wondering whether or not I should invite my adult son over to visit us, when I’ll see my friends in person again, and when it’ll be considered safe to hug my parents.
And, we are wearing masks.
Staying in the day, in the moment, without thinking about all the future unknowns helps me to enjoy my life. It’s easy for me to worry or to get frustrated when I read news articles. There are recommendations and mandates, postponed decisions, and perhaps, inconsistencies with the decisions being made. There are things I don’t fully understand, having only partial information, and these same things are clearly out of my control.
So my priority for this summer (and always, but I get sidetracked), is prayer. I want to find a balance of prayer, work and rest. So here is the basic plan:
- 7:00-8:15 Hygiene, chores, morning prayers, breakfast, spiritual reading and meditation
- 8:15-9:30 Mass, rosary, start laundry
- 9:30-11:30 Projects/food shopping/weekly cleaning
- 11:30-12:00 Reading (fiction)
- 12:00-1:00 Angelus, lunch, chores, finish laundry
- 1:00-4:00 Driving lessons, French lessons/pool time, work out
- 4:00-6:00 Shower, dinner prep & eat, chores
- 6:00-10:00 Angelus, meeting/movie/blog post, family time
- 10:00-11:00 Iron, hygiene, night prayers, reading (non-fiction)
I’ve been trying to follow this schedule for a couple of weeks now. I’ve not been praying the rosary or the Angelus consistently yet. Because it hasn’t been raining much, we’ve been swimming at the pool almost every day. I also haven’t been consistent with my reading times. Projects, movies, hanging out with Bobby, and helping my mom (or the kids) seem to take over my time.
One benefit of following a schedule, that I noticed recently, is that it helps me to enjoy the present moment. Doing the tasks that need to get done at a certain day/time each week, helps to get rid of the overwhelming feelings that I am behind, or forgetting things I need to do, that clutter up my mind and make me feel anxious. For example, knowing that we are going to clean the house on Friday morning, or that I’m going to take Joseph driving after lunch, allows me to relax when I’m reading a book on the couch, or sitting at the pool with my family. I don’t have the guilt that I should be doing something “more productive” at that time.
I can also see when I am avoiding doing something on my schedule. Sometimes there may be a good reason for doing so, but other times I may be avoiding feelings, or maybe my priorities have gotten out of order. So the schedule can also help with self-awareness and with being intentional as people often say nowadays. Most of all, I hope it will help to make God, rather than me, the center of my life.