Structure

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Many of the blogging women I read homeschool their children, and of that group of women, a lot of them follow something called the Waldorf method. I’d never heard of this, but I’m pretty in love with it. It seems to be all about nature and warmth and togetherness and simplicity and writing that all out, it sounds kind of cultish, but regardless – I’d drink that Kool-Aid.  A huge part of the Waldorff thing is structure and rhythm.

I could use a little more Waldorf in my life, I think. I could do with more structure, more rhythm.

Thing is, as much as I like the idea of Structure… I rebel against it.

For example, I would do very well to schedule days and hours for sewing, baking, playing with dogs and such, but when it comes right down to it, what if I don’t want to sew when I’ve got that scheduled? What if I’d rather bake or veg out, instead? I am all about the whim of the moment, which makes me not even want to try scheduling anything.

Given, however, that my current methodology of, “Hm, what do I want to do now? Ok, finish Mom’s quilt and do Stacey’s bag and bake some bread and make gifts in jars and go thrifting and make a pie and play with dogs and go for a walk and take some pictures and stock the freezer and learn how to knit and do email and do Reader and watch TV and read a book,” which all finally results in me sitting in my office chair, staring blankly at a wall for an hour or mindlessly clicking around the internets because I’m paralyzed by my choices.

Too Many Choices.

As much as I love the option to choose, I may just lack the ability.

I’ve never been any good with picking amongst equally appealing things. Thus, I don’t have a favorite anything. How do I judge “The Fifth Element” against “The Third Man?” That’s impossible. Opeth vs. Patsy Cline? No way. Indian food over Ethiopian? Get out. Stubbs BBQ vs. KC Masterpiece? Can’t do it.

It’s all contextual, it’s all about what I’m thinking and feeling and wanting at that precise minute. Now granted, I do get through the days, and I do make choices. When it’s something important, I can decide with a swiftness. But when it’s something unimportant, something that’s just about me… man. That’s rough.

Once I get some kind of rhythm established though, perhaps I’d like it. Not having to spend an hour or more in the kitchen after work most nights, not having to feel guilty about vacuuming over a month ago, wondering when I’ll find/make the time for x, y and z.

I tend to struggle against things that I know will be good for me, even I’d enjoy said things. I don’t understand this behavior, it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Being consciously aware of it doesn’t help, either; then I just feel lame and guilty for avoiding whatever it is I know I should be doing. It’s the “should” that kicks my ass every time.

Passively wasting time, letting moments slip away – this I’m good at.

As Bob Newhart would say, STOP IT!

I have the next two days off, they are brimming with potential and possibilities and there’s so much Stuff I want to get done! Wish me luck.

Maybe I’ll start Googling “home organization charts” or some such tonight. Baby steps. Always with the baby steps… and then with the getting distracted by insignificant things, like these little mind games. So easy, yet infuriating.

Awhile ago, I started using Hiveminder, but I’m not making the most of it… I want something different, but I don’t know different how, which makes finding a workable system harder. Reckon I should just draft my own template and modify as necessary. Right then.

Anyone have time management suggestions to share?

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4 responses to Structure


  1. not sure what to suggest but I feel your pain. I am entranced by newness and easily distracted by the thought of a new project.

  2. I used hiveminder for awhile.. but in the end I find that to-do lists just make me less likely to get stuff accomplished. other things get in the way and become ‘more important’ and it makes me depressed when I have to keep pushing the due dates of the tasks that really do need doing back all the time.

  3. I totally understand where you are coming from. I have a new principal at my school who is really into envisioning our best possible lives and then finding ways to make it happen. He asked me to make a schedule for the week where I slot in all the things I love to do/need to do each week. I made the schedule and then felt a strong urge of rebellion – it’s baking time but what I really want to do is finish that quilt I started yesterday…. Anyhow, when I told him I was finding the schedule too rigid he suggested that I make my schedule less specific. For example, instead of choosing one time for sewing and another time for writing, and another time for creating new things in the kitchen , he suggested I just label this “creative time.” So when it is “creative time” I know I have time to do whatever creative task hits my fancy at the moment. I did something similar with all of my activities so now my schedule has “creative time” “home time” (a nice way to say cleaning!) family time, etc. It’s still not a perfect system, but it allows for some structure without feeling confined. I’d love to know if you find something that works for you – time organization is hard!

  4. Erin

    nopinkhere – me too; I love new things, thrive on them. It’s hard to make myself settle in and really Finish Something.

    ErinA – I totally empathize with that. I go back and forth between feeling that way, and enjoying the challenge and satisfaction of getting things on the list crossed off.

    Andi – good idea on the looser scheduling. It’s hard trying to find a balance, but I’ll let you know if I find anything especially effective. 🙂

    Thanks for commenting, ladies!

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