I love order in my life.
This photo taken from one of the rooms in the former home of the sculptor Auguste Rodin, speaks of order and calm to me.
The symmetry of the placement of the chairs, the windows, the manicured gardens beyond and even the shadows on the parquet floor all suggest a kind of ordered serenity.
Do you find sometimes that things are just a mess, both figuratively and literally. I can almost measure my state of mind by the state of my desk and home. If my mind is calm and tranquil, then my home and desk are tidy.
If your mind is in disarray, do you find, as I do, that everthing else is as well?
As hard as it may be, the best way to work through a busy, messy or crazy time in your life, is to make an extra effort to surround yourself with order. Simple things like sticking to a routine, even to the point of writing a daily task list, can be helpful. I write everything on my daily to-do list, even blogging, exercising, visiting friends and spending time with my children. This may seem so obvious, that I almost see you rolling your eyes and going 'well...der..'
But it's when these little things slip, that you'll find everything else slipping too.
The days when I've neglected my evening routine of planning the following day before going to bed, are my most frantic days. Nothing goes right and I'm chasing my tail from dawn till dusk and beyond.
Maybe as I've grown older I've learned to appreciate routine more as I try to squeeze more out of each day.
My planning for the following day includes setting out the breakfast dishes...something I remember my Mum doing when she had seven of us to get off to school in the mornings. The dishes, cutlery, cereal, coffee pot, glasses and cups are all set up on the kitchen bench ready to go. You'd be surprised how this one thing streamlines the morning and prevents us tripping over each other.
Clothes are laid out to avoid that 'where's my sports socks/school badge/favourite undies' madness. Bags and briefcases are emptied and repacked for the following day. Diaries and planners are consulted to see who has swimming/cross country/early morning appointments to ensure we're all out the door on time with all the accoutrements of the day on board.
I even prepare my daughters school lunch as far as possible. We stick to fresh stuff in lunches, so salads are pre-prepared, sushi rice is cooked in adavance to be assembled into moulded sushi in the morning, eggs are boiled, home baked goodies are stashed into containers and bottles of juice and water frozen to keep it all cool in the Queensland heat.
None of this is a new idea. I know many of you would already follow a similar routine. It's just a note to self, that without these routines, home life becomes more harassed and exasperating.
Give me time to think and plan, a few moments of long contemplation as suggested by Rodins' iconic sculpture, The Thinker, a few tasks done ahead, and a calm start to the day. That truly is bliss.
What's on your Tray of Bliss today?