Thursday, August 15, 2013

Routines and Flying

This morning as I was waking up, my thoughts went toward my day and what needs to be our focus.  Yesterday I was in general “off track” and what I need to do today to get back “on track” with our routine.  The early part of our week got switched up a bit with a short road trip out of our little area and family visiting.  As I was thinking about this week’s activities and how our routine got broken up and modified, I began to think about how a routine is like flying an airplane.  It brought me back to the days, before kids, when my husband was building flight hours and I would accompany him, and be his co-pilot.

This was a flight we made from California to Oregon August 1991

We always filed a flight plan and when we got into the air our time was filled with many checks and balances to keep us going in the direction of that flight plan until we arrived at our destination.  We both were scanning for and identifying other aircraft in the air and my husband would regularly be checking his altitude and our direction.  I have only handled the gear for an airplane once and for a short period.  It surprised me how much work it was to keep the elevation level and to keep us on track, there is much correcting of the yoke done during a flight.  Pilots make it look really easy to stay on track and keep the flight smooth, especially as they gain more experience. 

I was drawn to how developing a routine can be like flying an airplane.  I have never really had a good routine throughout my life, but I have lived with schedules according to what was going on in my life (i.e. school/work).  This played a part in why I was drawn to the schoolish system and programs, to provide a schedule to be accountable to.  I had never learned of the difference between a schedule and routine as Marilyn Howshall explains it in her book, Develop A Lifestyle Routine.  Moving away from the schoolish programs and systems has been challenging for me in developing a good steady routine and I am glad for the help from the Develop a Lifestyle of Routine book that has given me some basis as I evaluate our specific family dynamics and our life situations as they come up.  I notice I have really great weeks and I have weeks where things get thrown off, and I don’t get flustered over it like I had in the past.  I use to see myself get off course and think of it as failure, and rather than correct and adjust, I kept going in a downward spiral… feeling defeated…  That was not the thing to do.  I have learned that the thing to do is to stop all the critical self-talk, self-condemnation, all the blame, all the self-pity I use to be trapped in.  The thing to do is to check my course and see what course corrections need to be made and then make efforts toward that. 

Sometimes a wise pilot realizes that the destination needs to be modified due to unforeseen circumstances and does so.  For example, last weekend my husband was flying home with a group and their schedule got waylaid which required a change of plans.  The pilot flying the airplane was not yet certified to fly at night with passengers and the plan needed to be changed.  They started in Canada and determined they could make it to Bellingham by dark (an hour and half north of home) and made arrangements with  me to pick up the passengers so the pilot could fly the airplane home.  Just like this situation, we may have plans and life happens (a move, a baby, a medical emergency, job loss in the family, etc.) and we need to readjust our destination as well.  It’s nothing to feel defeated in, but it’s something to make adjustments in and keep moving forward in.

This is the airplane that my husband was flying home in from Canada.

This week we had an activity that took us out of our little area for part of a day which changed around our routine, we switched our grocery day, and I have a relative in town that is adding the need to be flexible with how our days look so we can switch things up.  I got off track a little bit yesterday and today I am ready to make that course correction.

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