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Balancing structure and spontaneity

The last two weeks have been school holidays for us. In our house that means two weeks without school and two weeks without working at kindy. We love our holidays, there is no hustle to get morning jobs done, there is freedom with how and where we spend our time and we have lots more outside time and play time.

So with all this freedom and relaxing and fun, why do I feel a little unbalanced?

During term time, I have my days that I go to work at kindy and my days that I work from home. We have wake up times and bed times and even tea times. We have shopping days and a menu and we know when other people are going to be here.

We have structure and routine and rhythm.

Outside of this I don’t plan much, I like spontaneity with the rest of the time, do I go for a walk, out for tea, out with friends, de-clutter my house, spend the day in the garden, watch movie after movie on Netflix, road trip somewhere or head to the beach?

With the structure and routine in my life I have the freedom to do anything else. I know the food is there for the next day, the washing is done and that I am healthy and well-rested.

In the holidays, without the structure I don’t get as much done, I have more time at home but I am less productive. Some people think that many of us need to have 6-9 things on the go at a time and when we have less than that we create space and space creates problems or procrastination.

This was true for me in the first week of the holidays. I found myself staying up late, sleeping in, exercising less, eating more, not doing my work, procrastinating on research and networking and to top it all off I wasn’t getting extra play time in with my son. I started getting frustrated and feeling unsure of my purpose and direction.

Then I had an awareness of what was going on. I realised that to enjoy the freedom and spontaneity and to feel my best and give my best I needed the structure and routine. To be able to rebel and be adventurous I needed to know that when I came back home I would be able to get back in to the rhythm without hesitation and without guilt, shame, blame or drama.

So this week I go to bed at my bed time and I get up and exercise in the morning. We have an aim to get ready so we can take the dog for a walk. We are having meal times around the same time everyday. This little bit of structure is enough for us to feel anchored and grounded and we are getting much more done.

I’m no longer going to tell myself that I’m a free spirit who needs the holidays to feel alive. I’m aware now that I need the anchor of structure to enjoy the ocean of spontaneity and freedom that is there when I want to choose it.

What does your balance of structure and spontaneity look like and what lies have you been telling yourself that have been holding you back from enjoying the balance that works for you?

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