Yesterday, I started a post on structure and had to cut it off early, mainly because we’d hit the time I had indicated was to be our set-aside “us” time. I wanted to explain a little bit more about some of the changes I’m introducing.
We’re not always as good with change as we’d like to think we are. That’s why for us, Big-Bang approaches tend to fail in epic ways. Chalk it up to the kind of people we are, but unless it’s Life and the Universe introducing CHANGERIGHTNOWDAMMIT! we deal good with the slow and steady approach. We have a lot going on in our lives with the realities of life, this tends to not give us much time to slow down, take a look around, figure out how things are going and get on with it.
We also teach in our Ebbs and Flow class about the concept of small steps when trying to re-engage the dynamic. After an ebb of some period, it might be hard to get things back rolling. It usually takes awhile to get into an ebb or rut, and it’s usually taken us some time to get back out of them. I used to think the Big-Bang-Approach would work, you know… the big weekend or the big super duper series of scenes will have us feeling our dynamic in no time. Epic Fail, each and every time. It wasn’t until I started taking slower, smaller steps for both of us to re-engage that we started being able to successfully break the cycle of ebbs and more ebbs and failure and more ebbs. That, and trust. Success is fertile ground for trust and we both had to trust that the ebbs were going to stop.
Same thing applies to changing structure or approaches to how we do things. Small steps, figure out how things are rolling, figure out what works, “Keep trying until we can’t.” (Thanks Starbuck.)
So these changes aren’t earth-shaking or by any means anything new that you haven’t heard people do before. More structure to the todos of each day, with each day having a focus. We’ve gotten into a good habit over the years with using the morning check-in and todo list: With angie’s lupus, her fatigue and energy levels aren’t consistent, so we do a check-in to see where she’s at and what is on the calendar, on the todo list and coming up that we need to focus on. Sometimes we’re getting ready for a weekend event, or we have doctors appointments coming up, you know… the life stuff.
Now, our days will have better focus with “themes” on the day – this day is for laundry, this day is for kitchen, etc. Enough flexibility that when life happens, it doesn’t upend the apple cart, but enough to start getting a feel for a rhythm and a way of making sure we get the things done we need to get done.
Also building in that “we” time – we honestly don’t need to spend all that time doing nothing on the computer. So 30 to 60 minutes of us time – reading, talking, just being in the moment together.