Most of my life, I’ve tried to set up time-based schedules to live by. It’s how our world really works, by the hours and minutes of a clock. But it never seemed to work well for my own life. I would fill up every hour with some activity. I would even include rest time or down time. Or I tried using blocks of time for activities, but it never worked.
On top of that, I’m not great with change. It’s unpredictable and time-based schedules crumble in the face of change. I needed to be more flexible, but it didn’t feel like it was in my DNA to be more flexible. Change wears me down, even the good kind. So I wanted to find a way to live into that ebb and flow of life.
Then I heard about living in rhythms. What I have learned so far about rhythms is that they are as natural as breathing. Even in the face of change, it’s just the next right step forward, or sometimes even backward. But it requires slowing down, paying attention, creating space to reflect. But, I’m so busy running after my son and my dogs and all my responsibilities, that I thought it would be impossible.
So, I decided to try incorporating some seasonal rhythms. At the beginning of each official day of the season, I stop and change a few things in my home to celebrate and commemorate the natural change of the season. In each one, in addition to changing the decor I already have, I added a scent, and the hobby focus in my life for each season. Here’s the result.
- Scent: Lavender
- Hobby: Gardening (this is the point when I make all the plans of what to plant and how to maintain it all, but I do continue to water and maintain through Fall)
- Scent: Citrus & Coconut
- Hobby: Piano or Guitar (something inside because Texas heat is real)
- Scent: Apple
- Hobby: Knitting (my newest hobby that I’m learning and loving)
- Scent: Mint (think peppermint at Christmas and mint chocolate around Valentine’s Day)
- Hobby – Baking
I picked scent because that particular sense tends to ground me to the present. I smell citrus, I think summer. I smell lavender, I think spring. I chose a different hobby each season because, honestly, I was trying to do them all at once. Dividing them up and dedicating intentional time to each one, even for only a few months, has helped me grow and learn more than I did when I was trying to do it all.
I would love to learn how to incorporate this rhythm mentality into other aspects of my life, but I’m not there yet. That’s okay. I guess, that’s part of the whole process. Slowing down and letting things happen more naturally and less forced. I already see a difference those other parts of my life, even without doing anything intentional. I can definitely see how rhythms can be really helpful, and I’m looking forward to trying more things, especially in the face of busyness and change.
Do you have any seasonal rhythms or traditions that you look forward to? Do you struggle with change like me? Do you have anything that helps you deal with ongoing changes in your life?