“The less routine, the more life.”
This quote by Amos Bronson Alcott graced the front of a card my husband gave me recently. It’s stuck in my head.
It’s a call to living large, I first thought. Break free from the shackles of day to day schedules, fly by the seat of your pants, give in to spontaneity and let every new 24 hours be an unpredictable source of adventure and exploits.
I got tired writing that sentence.
Is that what Alcott had in mind?
Or does the phrase capture how the sick child, an extra project at work, the untimely breakdown of a vehicle – in other words, “more life” – steals routine? Is the inability to attend to routine activities an indication that there’s simply too much going on?
Whatever the author’s intent, I appreciate how this single phrase has challenged me to consider margin in my life. Is there enough blank space allotted each week to accommodate the unplanned for? Will “one more thing” slide in and temporarily fill my cup to the brim? Does that additional expectation have a place to land or does it send my cup’s contents splashing over the rim?
And all this mulling reminds me how much I like routine…with variety.
So today I purpose to re-evaluate my weeks, looking for places to build in predictable structure while leaving enough white space to keep enjoying my days. More routine. More life.
With love and gratitude,
In The Midst