“Hey Janneke, give us more examples of how you shape your Rule of Life. Just in detail. How does your day look like?” That was a response from Julia, one of our readers here at The World Around Our Table community.
My first response was? Do I want that? Because this Rule Of Life is a framework and I don’t live with letters in my head all day. Moreover, your personality has everything to do with how you shape your days. The Artist, the Carpenter, the Athlete or the Adventurer. The Introvert Reader, or the Extrovert People Person. They all shape their day differently (if at all). And there is no right or wrong within this Rule of Life.
So, I will describe one day of my life. Take it for what it is but do not see my day as a rule, but rather as an example of how life could be lived.
A day in my life:
p.s. don’t forget the important announcement at the end.
H=Holy Ground:(Start from rest)
6.30 The alarm goes off, a new day. Why do my best ideas float to the surface around 6:00 am? Opening the curtains doesn’t make sense yet. It’s dark and chilly outside. Downstairs, I’ll boil the water and grab the back of a small paper teabag. A 5 by 10 cm piece of paper of which I collect at least five a day. For each pot of tea one teabag. These are my precious ToDoToday notes.
The water is boiling and one by one the early birds roll out of their nests and sit around the table. I put my secret ToDoToDayTea bag aside: Attention: Teens, School Bags, Lunch Boxes, Cookies, and Drinks.
Do you have your phone? check.
Is your Bag closed? check,
Do you have your purse and train ticket with you? check.
If the idea is: Starting with Rest! This day would already be a Disaster. A vivid example of the Difference between Theory and Practice.
O=Organize: (Unroll the day and make a plan)
8.00 The house is empty and I enjoy the moment. One moment is no more sacred than another. Helping your housemates out the door with care is as sacred as can be. But now it’s just “Me Time” At least on the days when I don’t work outside, but indoors. I read, drink coffee, listen to some music and write.
L = Let’s do it. No Procrastination. (Do, what you have to do!)
Oh, dear, I have to turn on the Laundry machine! Halfway up the stairs, an idea comes to my mind. Ah! 5 book tips about a rule of life! With every other step a title rolls through my head that has helped me in recent years. That is a good idea! After all, I’m not reinventing the wheel. Living with a Rule of Life is an ancient custom that is rooted in Benedict of Nursia. So, we are standing in long tradition. It is so good to unravel that Good Old Gold.
Argh. I can’t wait to write these titles down! Just wait!
But: Focus First: Turn on that Laundry Machine first. Don’t dream now, but act.
The Laundry machine is running, the dishes can wait.
I usually write in three phases:
Phase 1. The Idea: (those thoughts popping up while I am standing under the clothesline with my arms in the air, clothespins and a piece of clothing in hand.) Or those pieces of thoughts that are popping up while running to the bathroom or while I dive deep into the cellar to get a few potatoes for dinner).
Phase 2. The first concept: The main line. Whether it happens on the back of an empty envelope, in my diary or just typing away and rattling your fingers over that keyboard: Creating content is solid writing.
D.= Dear Ones Around You. Spent time with them. (contact with the other)
Phase 3. The final concept: I need an eye for detail. Getting ready for the reader: Read and reread. Delete and delete.
Put myself in the shoes of you, my dear reader and shape and reshape the text. I’d like to make it so that I think: I would like to see such a piece of text in my email box!
O.= Oh! My Body. Food & Sport.
Today I am not cycling to work. That is a shame because this would otherwise be sixteen kilometers of cycling. But let’s face it: Some laundry here, a bit of cleaning there, peeling potatoes or a dive in the closet and some household acrobat poses, I certainly don’t sit still. But doing intensive sports is something else. SSTT. This is My Secret Sin! I’m definitely going out every day but that’s it for today. Luckily I don’t have to think about food and groceries now. I already did that at the beginning of the week. Now all I have to do is prepare it.
N.= Nurture Your Soul. What Makes You Deeply Happy? See art, make music, walk. Do Your Thing and Let Your Soul Sing.S=Sensitiviteit:
15.00 – 17.00
Tea time. Just hang out with the kids. We, Dutch people are not the best in relaxing on the couch with our kids. We. Do. Things. We are secret workaholics. Working is easier than Being. So. That is what I practise. Because I need to. Play some music, do a little homemaking or just hang out on the couch with the kids now they came home from school.
Golden hour right? Daughter Marijke is back home for Christmas. The house is full, the heart is overflowing. We experience the usefulness of Nothingness. (Oh! What a great topic to write about!)
Period. Dot. The End. Closure. The Art of finishing.
The day is over. An evening walk is often included in our daily routine. Let your thoughts sink in and wind down for the day. Drink even more tea by candlelight, add a book, close curtains, and listen to some music. Going offline a few hours before bedtime is important.
This is just a super small peek of my day.
Reality is more complex,
with Ruffles and Restlessness
Don’t underestimate the Moods:
The days when you may or may not feel comfortable.
If you include this in your thinking while reading about my day, you have about 20% insight into it.
And now you! Your turn to Shape Your Day:
Just a Small Reminder of the Word: HOLD ON.
H= Holy Ground. A good start. The Fundament. Who Holds You
O= Organize your time. What’s your focus? What & When
L= Let’s do it. No Procrastination.
D.= Dear Ones Around You. Spent time with them.
O.= Oh! My Body. Food & Sport.
N.= Nurture Your Soul. What Makes You Deeply Happy? See art, make music, walk. Do Your Thing and Let Your Soul Sing.
Period. Dot. The End. Closure. The art to finish.
There is 1 assignment for you this week: Just pick and choose a time to fill in the sheets below. Do it with a pencil and an eraser. It’s not set in stone and it becomes more of you the more you play with it. Sit down and make yourself a big pot of tea or chocolate milk:
Here is a handy print version for you to play with during the Christmas holidays: Any Questions? Just Ask!
This is day 28-34 of the 100 days-100 words project. I started somewhere in mid-November: 700 words per week in which the Rule of Life per week becomes a bit more visible. This is a “Create in Public” Pathway.
I hope you enjoy reading as much as I enjoy writing. You see the plan unfold as I write, (quite scary and exciting!) So if you see any points of improvement, please let me know, it will eventually make it better. Thank you!
Kind Regards, Janneke
p.s. Yep! We are having an Online Meeting about A Rule of Life. Just stay tuned. It will be hosted in January.