Monday, 30 January 2017

My Thoughts About Routines.

Hello lovelies! I'm back again. The school term has started in my part of the world. And I was ready. Not sure that my boys were, but they'll survive. 

I now have two high school boys, in year ten and seven, and one grade three boy. I am not allowed to post any photos of them, so you'll have to imagine how handsome they are.  That's my totally unbiased opinion!

It's a little bit dispiriting when you see all the other special parents proudly posting their back to school snaps. But I really don't like having my photo taken either, so I kind of get it. 

Anyway, this back to school thing means that I'm supposed to get back into a routine. 


Here's the thing. I am really bad at them. It's another one of those curious Aspie dichotomies: I crave order and routine but I am rather inept and ineffectual at being the person who's supposed to be in charge of creating it. Sigh. 

I looked at Facey this morning and the first thing I saw was this article. It really resonated with me. Especially this part:

  1. Lack of executive planning skills. Executive functioning describes the skills we use to organize and plan our lives. They allow typical adults to plan schedules in advance, notice that the shampoo is running low, or create and follow a timeline in order to complete a long term project. 
  1. Most people with high functioning autism have compromised executive functioning skills, making it very tough to plan and manage a household, cope with minor schedule changes at school or at work, and so forth.

Story of my life.  

Honestly, the start of the school of the school year fills me with equal parts anticipation and trepidation.  In one way I'm glad to end the holidays, but I'm also on edge with the persistent feeling that I can't keep on top of everything that needs to be remembered and done. I always feel like I'm letting my boys down because I am not a typical multi-tasking, briskly efficient mum. 

It's a classic case of 'the blind leading the blind'. I don't know how to teach my boys to be organised because I have no idea myself.  I have calendars, diaries, lists etc and I still struggle. I am trying very hard to accept myself and work with myself instead of against myself, but being ad hoc and disorganised doesn't seem to be a very useful thing in life. Weird. 

Most of the advice out there about becoming organised or establishing routines seems to (mostly) come from naturally organised, neuro-typical type people.  I need to find the bits that work for me and discard the rest. It's all easier said than done! 

In other related news, I've been attempting to have a routine of writing 'morning pages'.  This is a process introduced by author Julia Cameron. The idea is that you write three pages each morning. You don't think about it too much, just write whatever's on your mind. A kind of a free writing, stream of consciousness type thing.

I haven't been totally successful. It's been on again off again. According to Cameron's book The Artist's Way,  this process is meant to unlock your creativity. All I seem to unlock is yet more waffling, discursive drivel. Dammit.  However, it is quite soothing to sit and write the old-fashioned way with pen and paper. Remember those? 

But anyway, whenever I get in the doldrums about all of the above I just repeat this word: 


Panglossian. Panglossian. Panglossian.  PANGLOSSIAN! 

No, I haven't suddenly gone stark raving mad (that happened AGES ago), I'm just reminding myself of my word(s) for the year. (Look it up, it's an awesome word!) 

Besides, there was another article I read somewhere on the internet about personality traits and happiness (I can't remember which website it was to reference it... See?) and supposedly being orderly in no way correlates with happiness. Winning! 

Now I'm just going to pretend I'm organised and go and write a to-do list. And I'll definitely write the word panglossian down a few times as well. 

And before you know it, it will be school pick up time again! Later! 

What are you like with routines? 



  1. pro tip for feeling organised. Write something you already did on your to do list just to get that sweet sweet rush when you cross something off. I've been known to start a to do list with like six things I already did just to feel good :P

  2. I'm actually awesome at work routines. But when it comes to home - I'm like you. Totally disorganised. I find it very hard to keep an organised, ordered household and I rely on lists and alarms to get everything done. So I relate. (My kids also don't like having their photos posted online, so I get that too). But somehow we make it work!

  3. I dont wanna look up the word...whaaaah! I like your truth telling. You do it so well. I tried the morning pages too. Did not work for me in the mornings nor using my poor sore hands. But I do some of the writing (the drivel) in the arvo and only one page at a time. I saw an article yesterday that says hand writing is much better for our brains that punching on the computer keys as I am now. Great to see you back here! Thank you for linking up for Life This Week 5/52. Next week's prompt is "How Much Money is Enough".

  4. Ha ha that's an awesome new word :) I LOVE routine and schedules and To Do lists and all of it. Except then chemo came along and effed up my memory grr. So now I don't do all the planning for fun alone but for necessity as my life would probably be chaotic without it x x

  5. When my three girls were younger, I would always take the first week off when they returned to school. As I work from home, its a great way to get the house back in some sort of order, so we are more organised as a family, which in turn helps me be more organised on all fronts. My girls go back to school on Wednesday and I can only really afford to give myself a day off this year. How I wish that was different.

  6. I like the idea of routines & tried so hard to have them when Miss nearly 19 was younger. As she grew, it quickly became clear that she was naturally better at them than I was. These days I keep to a strict routine based around bus commutes during the week, & let it all go on a weekend. It's like morning pages - I truly forget that I should be doing them.

  7. That's a great word! # kids at school means too many places to be at once. I spend my afternoons driving in circles (afterschool activities, not pick ups from school) it's the worst!