The Uncommonality of it All

Before I go any further: yes, I know that ‘uncommonality’ is not a word. I’m choosing to use it anyway because I like the way it sounds. It’s been two months since one of my posts went live, and I realize this is unusual, especially in the early days of a growing an audience. I had quite a whirlwind situation on my hands. My husband came home from Korea, which I mention in a post or two from the end of May, and things were a bit quiet at first while we all adjusted to having him home. Then the jet lag wore off, things picked up quickly, and I was swept into the chaos of everyday life.

I thrive on a routine. I almost need it to function. My husband being home meant settling into a new routine, something that takes me about two months to accomplish. This may seem like a long time, but science actually backs me up! One study from the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine (found here) suggests it takes 66 days to form a routine on average. That’s insane when you think about it, right? But when you break it down, a routine is just a series of habitual actions. Habits take a while to form. A little longer than two weeks, according to the same study I linked above, and I’ve come across varying opinions on the subject.

Each person is different, so the length of time required for me to form a habit or routine may not match the average. I won’t pretend I’m special, although I believe I handle organization quite well, but even I require more optimal circumstances than I have for creating a workable routine. With my kids out of preschool for the summer, my husband off for a month before beginning his new job full time, and his work schedule changing from day-to-day, the inconsistency makes setting a normal pattern challenging.

My “routine” did a vanishing act. Where did it go? Why did it abandon me? Why was I unable to return to my routine when my husband returned to work? These are all fantastic questions. I lost the routine I had, and I’m now trying to get my footing by creating an intentional, new set of habits.

As it happens, I fell out of the habit of writing regularly. I haven’t put fingers to keyboard to write something for some time and I have several drafts of blog posts with a few random words written on them. I don’t know what the ideas are supposed to be, it’s been too long and the words no longer spark the return of the thought. I am scrapping them to start over, and taking the opportunity to roll out a new publishing schedule. Because the only way to form a habit is to perform the action, repeatedly.

I realize that regularly updating a blog, then pulling the same vanishing act my routine pulled on me is bad for readership, and for my audience to trust that I will update regularly. I apologize to my subscribers reading this, and thank you from the bottom of my heart for coming back. Just know I’m genuinely contrite, and I don’t plan on an unannounced two month hiatus again.

A brief update on where we are – I bought a minivan; there will be a whole post on that. (I mourned the trade-in of my truck, Tess.) My 19-month-old is saying words and sentences we can understand. My kids’ summer vacation ends in just a couple short weeks. We are taking a weekend trip to see some friends soon, and I am creating a few new habits that I will share in upcoming blog posts.

“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” – John C. Maxwell

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