Finding Calm in Schedule Changes

I have always struggled with change.
Not big changes… for whatever reason, I can handle those just fine.
Get married. ✔
Move across the country. ✔️
Have a baby. ✔️
How about 6 of them?
Sure! Why not?

But the small changes, those throw me for a loop!

Things like:

  • Kids starting school in the fall.
  • Kids getting out of school for the summer.
  • Brian’s change in work schedule.
  • Starting a new extracurricular activity.

And this fall it has been mixed with illnesses that typically come with the new school year, as well as the added stress of “Is is covid??”
I think it takes me 3-4 weeks to adjust to a new schedule.
During the time of adjustment, I simply feel “off” and struggle to put into words what I’m feeling or why I’m struggling in the first place.

What helps:

Keeping as much of my regular routine as possible.

During the summer I try to keep the same routines of when we wake up, eat, start the day, have dinner, wind down and go to bed.
These things help me feel secure, and that life is normal.
Even when things change, like if the kids’ school schedule changes or if Brian is working different shifts, or if we’re all home quarantined, at least the flow of the day will be familiar to some degree.
My cleaning routines help carry me through all the uncertainty of life.
No matter what is going on, I can do my morning and evening reset and know that the kitchen is under control.
The weekly reset makes a big difference too because it’s done on Saturday mornings, which gives me a sense of normalcy, even if the normal things I depend on to make my week feel normal (Church, prayer meeting, taekwondo, etc.) may not happen, but at least the home routines happen and add some consistency to my week.

Where do you get strength from?

Change humbles me. It makes me realize how fickle I am.
I want control. That’s part of the reason I like routines: because I can feel in control of something, even when it feels chaotic around me.
This fall, I have longed for a consistent schedule, and I haven’t had it.
I’m thankful the kids are back in school, I think it’s good for them to be around other people.
But then each week we’ve had someone home sick and then I’ve been going through the list of symptoms to look for, if/when we should test for covid, when are they symptom-free and can go back to school??
All of it makes me turn to my Father in Heaven more, and ask Him to help me do the things I need to do each day REGARDLESS of how I feel about it.
And it’s a comfort to know that He allows things in my life, that make me run to Him, so He can show me who He is.

What do you get joy from?

Finding joy in uncertain times is hard.
Heck, even during certain times, it’s hard!
I’m a look-to-the-future person. I’m always thinking “I will be happy when… I will enjoy life when… Everything will be better when…”
But if we can’t find joy in the present, what happens when the future becomes the present? Will we find joy in it?
So I have to work at finding joy in the present. I have to take time out, sit still and pay attention.

Pause and think through all the things that are nice TODAY.

This week, Brian has been home with covid. So we’re all in quarantine. Our house is too small to get away from it, with only one bathroom and a small bedroom, it’s been difficult.
All the kids have been home from school and we haven’t been doing anything outside the house.

  • But the weather has been beautiful. I’ve been able to sit on the porch and enjoy the smell of fall and watch the leaves begin to change color.
  • I’ve had time to do yard work, which is often neglected.
  • The kids have been getting along so well this week, the boys have been playing with blocks and building.
  • Paul can read to himself now and it’s seriously hilarious to hear him read Elephant and Piggie books.
  • The flowers I planted in the spring look beautiful, and I picked a cute little bouquet to enjoy in the house.

And spend some time in prayer.

I have a lot to learn of being content, as the Apostle Paul talked of.
I can recognize that something is missing in this life, that something will always feel a bit “off” for me because I know that this world is broken and I look forward to eternity when I get to be with Christ, the world will be made new, and all will be right.
When I am struggling, it helps to spend time in prayer, to meditate on the fact that God has made a way for me to know Him, and that this life isn’t all about me and my comfort, but about Him showing me who He is.

Tools are useful, but they’re not perfect.

Minimalism is a tool. Routines are a tool. And they’re helpful, wonderful things!
But they don’t make my life perfect.
Embracing minimalism and developing daily and weekly resets have made a huge difference in how overwhelmed I feel.
I can’t imagine going through a pandemic in the state I was in 15 years ago. But it hadn’t made it all perfect. Just better.
Minimalism has made it so I feel better when I’m at home, and my house isn’t a source of stress, which has been a wonderful blessing!
Routines have made it so the house seems to take care of itself, the daily chores of laundry and dishes don’t overwhelm me.

Struggle is okay.

It’s so tempting to search for things in this life to make everything “right.”
And at first, minimalism seems like it will do that.
It has made a tremendous difference in my life – depression comes less often and isn’t as severe, I don’t get overwhelmed as much as I used to.
And the house isn’t a source of embarrassment.
But when small changes happen, like the kids going back to school, or the entire family being stuck at home for an undetermined amount of time, I still struggle.
Life in this world isn’t ever going to be “perfect.”
And that’s ok. ❤️
My cleaning routines help carry me through all the uncertainty of life.

About Rachel Jones

Hi there! I’m Rachel Jones, and I founded Nourishing Minimalism in 2012 at the beginning of my minimalist journey after I'd been doing a yearly decluttering challenge for 4 years and started to see a change in my home. If you're looking for encouragement in your journey, please join our FREE Facebook Group: Nourishing Minimalism Facebook Group

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