It's the middle of transition time again. Tomorrow Noah starts second grade, and I have a teacher work day for my new job. It's one of those times when I feel unsteady, like walking into a dark room and needing time for my eyes to adjust. It will take a while to get my bearings, to feel comfortable with the new rhythm of my life.
Actually, I trust the process. When routine returns and the long, lazy days of summer are over, somehow life finds a natural ebb and flow. I tend to be more productive because the things I need to do have nice confined spaces to fit in within my day. Everything organizes itself into blocks of time where I can focus on specific things during specific hours. The closet OCD part of me likes this. It reminds me of the unspoken mantra that lives in my head when I am trying to restore order to my house, to my life: "A place for everything; everything in its place." This particular moment is just that fuzzy time when I try to figure out where everything fits, often by trial and error.
In my University Experience class I have my students construct a grid that represents a week in their lives, spread across an 8" x 10" piece of paper with hours labeled down one side and days ordered on top. I ask them to color code each block of time according to their activities, making sure they clearly show class time, study time, work time, and free time. Each year I also participate in this activity. It helps me understand how my life fits together. The gift of the exercise is that occasionally I discover a block of time I didn't realize was there, something I can consciously dedicate to an activity I enjoy. I realize how anxious I am to see my life in neat blocks --I would know what parts of myself fit where and when.
For now I wait in the craziness of new schedules, waiting for my eyes to adjust to the newness. It's all good. Eventually life finds a comfortable pace, and the whole family finds a way to settle in. I'm looking forward to my new ordinary to reveal itself.