Believe in nothing, no matter who says it, even if I say it, if it does not agree with your own experience and your own common sense ~ Buddha

I read and hear about people who have their shit together. They have routines. They have checklists. They have SOPs. I am sick to death of hearing about these people. NO MORE!!!!! I want to BE one of these people.

But how?

Some people have their RRSPs contribution come out of every paycheck. They have a nice little nestegg tucked away.

These people, when asked out to dinner, can say “Wednesday? No, Wednesday is my weekly pottery class. But Tuesdays and Fridays are open.”

They have a predictable schedule. They have order in their lives. They have predictability. They are not Stepford wives, oh no no. Somehow, through an act of Dog or the generosity of the Fates, they have “typical days,” “typical lifestyles,” and, in general, ROUTINE AND ORDERLY EXISTENCES.

HOW? How, I ask you, does this happen? I don’t get it. The same way when growing up, I wondered what the office worker parents of my friends actually DID all day, to this day I wonder, how does one get into the rat race? Forget the other 140,000 bloggers who give advice on how to get out of the rat race, I feel like a kid with an ant farm. I can observe them through the glass, but through some accident of birth or stringent screening process, I will never ever be a part of it.

I get that I have what some people think of as a dream lifestyle. I am self-employed. I live far out in the country on a working ranch that has been in my family for going on 120 years. I don’t have a boss, office politics or any kind of a commute. I am a member of a tight-knit family with no active drug and alcohol problems or mental health issues. I even like my in-laws.


Partly, this is a result of my upbringing. Living as we did an hour’s drive from the town where I went to school, there was very little of the herd mentality in me. Doing the things that everyone else was doing, like Outdoors Club or hockey, wasn’t an option. And after a while, it stopped being even an issue.

Not being able to hold down a real job (the cost of gas was too prohibitive at minimum wage,) my parents actively encouraged entrepreneurial pursuits like making and selling handicrafts, hiring out as day labour, and babysitting at home.

Since I left school, the only constant in my life has been change. It seems like every time I sit down and try to set a direction in my life, chart out some goals, etc, some earthshaking life change occurs. I’ve gotten so the only answer I have to the question “Where do you see yourself in five years?” Is “Not here.”

Not because I don’t like where I’m at, and not because I lack direction (I think,) but because I embrace change. I do. I know some people resist it, and sometimes I do too, but I’d almost always try the risky new thing over the known variable.

I always worry this makes me flighty, like I never finish anything I set out to do. And partly that’s true. And partly it’s that I have no problem throwing out goals that no longer fit my life. I love to stretch my limits.

However, I know that beans grow better if they have a framework to climb than if they are allowed to just sprawl wherever they want. And I want that framework too. Yes, my life requires flexibility, but it also requires focus and structure, and to that end, I’m asking you, my readers, to grant me your wisdom and advice. How do I go about this?

Comments on: "Taking Advice: How do you build a productive routine when your life is anything but routine?" (5)

  1. You are a goddess and an inspiration! Love love love your blog! 😀

  2. […] I need to get quiet enough to even have rituals of my own. I reread one of my very first posts, back from when this blog was just for me, and a year and a half later, I still have the same problem. I can’t find my rhythm. […]

  3. Yeah, me, too!

    Hmmmm – how is it that I ‘just keep finding’ folk’s (it’s NOT just you!) posts that sound like they’re reading my mind?

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