Day three of retirement, and we’re having Snowmaggedon, a Bomb Cyclone, or whatever catchy name they want to call a huge Nor’easter in New England. Heavy snowfall, high winds that swirl like a hurricane.
A complete whiteout.
I couldn’t see outside. I lost all sense of time. Of place even. It was like I had lost my rhythm.
Retirement’s created a sort of white-out too. The rhythm built into my life has been interrupted. And as much as I didn’t want to dance to that beat any more, I know I need some kind of rhythm.
How quickly should I establish one? How do I know what it should be? Should I move household chores from the weekends, or should I use the “workday” to work on my blog, podcast, and book? So many questions.
I know if I’m not intentional about creating my own rhythm, it will end up happening anyway. Others will try to make me fit into their rhythm, their agenda. Or I’ll just start creating a habit out of what I do at first because we’re such creatures of habit. We create habits so quickly.
So, as much as I’m resisting structure because my life’s been ridiculously structured, I know I need some. And I want to create it, or it will just happen to me.
We all have these times in our lives, don’t we? A new baby, kids move out of the house, a new project. Something to upset our rhythm. Something to create whiteout.
What do we do when that happens? If we’re not careful, we drift into a new rhythm without even paying attention. We don’t take time to think about how we want our life to work. What structure will help us thrive and flourish.
After a few days of whiteout, I’m ready to build some structure. A loose framework – with plenty of room to maneuver. Then I’m going to regularly evaluate it to see if it’s really working for me. After all, I’ve never had a choice as to when I did certain types of work. So now’s a good time to learn from my body’s rhythms.
Is your rhythm working for you? You may not have complete control over it, but you probably have more than you think. You may switch when you do certain types of activities – if you have any control over your daily schedule. Or, how about your morning routine? What you do when you get home from work? Right before bed? Just spend a few minutes paying attention and see if it’s working for or against you.
Keep in mind that if you do decide to change it, you could find yourself slipping back. Don’t worry. Don’t beat yourself up. Old habits die hard. Just start again the next day. Or minute.
Is there something in your rhythm that doesn’t feel like it’s meant to be your groove? Share what you’d like to change in the comments.