I’m a farmer’s wife. Our days are anything but predictable. He might be home at 11:45 a.m. ready for lunch. But some days, it’s 3 p.m.
And when I have dinner ready early, he’s late and unable to call. When I assume he won’t be home until 15 or 20 minutes until after he could be, he’s home early and dinner’s not ready and I get stressed.
It’s not his fault. It’s just the nature of living on the farm and having a family business.
But in light of the unpredictability of my days, I rebelled against a schedule. I wanted to be spontaneous. I had to be flexible.
But the truth was, I became too flexible. My excuses for not having an hour by hour schedule were legitimate. But that didn’t mean I could escape routine just because I couldn’t keep a strict schedule.
Schedules might be limiting…but disorder is more limiting. My cherished spontaneity was pointless when I didn’t have the time or energy to enjoy it.
–Holly Pierlot in A Mother’s Rule of Life: How to Bring Order to Your Home and Peace to Your Soul, page 10
And the truth is, even on the farm, we have seasons, we have typical days of the week. Sure, no two days might look exactly the same, but each week does have an ebb and flow, each day does have a constant of meals and chores.
Last fall, I set up weekly routines, with a long list of the day’s tasks. But without check points for the clock in that schedule, I was delving into the main thing on my to-do list and not getting so many of the “daily” tasks done.
This fall, I set up a routine for each day of the week with loose time slots and lots of cushion (thanks to lots of encouragement from Tell Your Time). It’s not that those things have to be done in that specific time slot, but that those times on the clock are good reminders for me that I am supposed to be moving on to the next thing, getting something else done.
But that’s why we have a schedule—so we can go back to it when things get back to normal. Or as normal as they ever are on the farm.