“Rhythm is one of the most powerful of pleasures, and when we feel a pleasurable rhythm we hope it will continue. When it does, it grows sweeter.”
Last week I mentioned that I am working my way back through an on-line class that I took years ago called 31 More Things. In this class, Ali Edwards provides a word a day with writing and photo tips to accompany it. Instead of going day by day this time around, I wrote all the words on a page in my journal and when I sit down to write, I close my eyes and point. The word that I land on is the one that I will use for the day. How apropos that today’s word is rhythm.
Ali writes in her lesson about ‘the rhythm of our days.’ On this, the first day of school, thoughts of this rhythm fill my mind. Never am I more conflicted than in the last days of summer and early days of school. I fight all year, but now especially, between a desperate need for routine and a fear of boredom. I want to know what each day will bring but then struggle when it brings the same thing as the day before. I feel anxious when I look at an empty calendar without plans or appointments to anchor my day. I thrill to look at this month’s calendar with school days and Back to School Nights. With dance auditions and soccer games. But then I realize that with all that comes school lunches to pack and carpools to drive. With the same arguments over clothes and bedtimes. And I begin again to crave something new. And this pattern repeats itself over and over again.
This morning, with a middle schooler and a high schooler, the house was quiet by 7:20, a full hour earlier than ever before. So now it’s a new rhythm I must learn. One in which I make use of my time alone so that I am ready to focus on the girls when they need me. Their requests for help are less frequent yet somehow seem more important when they do arise. No longer is it requests to tie shoes but instead thoughts on questions that have implications. Decisions to be made that impact others feelings. Or choices that will change a GPA for better or worse. So, I settle into this rhythm to make time and space for both the change and the routine that is upon us.