On Schedules with Routine and “May I speak to someone else?”

I like a bit of organization and appreciate parameters. I know better where to go when there is a benchmark set before me.

A month ago, Drew started writing down to-dos with abandon and I had an idea for our Monday nights. The result is two-fold. There now hangs on the back of our basement door, a recycled sheet of school paper with my hand written scrawl forming two columns.

I’ve typed it up here for easier viewing. You don’t want to view the chaos that surrounds this taped up list on the back of that door!

Saturday Jobs

Monday Midrash

1st Saturday- Dust, Do allowance (pick up basement) 1st Monday- Money/Budget/Goals
2nd Saturday – Wipe cabinets, Beat Rugs, (wash kids beds) 2nd Monday – Something Spiritual
3rd Saturday – Turn Compost (wash our bed) 3rd Monday- Parenting
4th Saturday- File paperwork (deep clean kid rooms) 4th Monday- Marriage
Every Saturday: bathrooms, sweep, mop, vac, (clean out the van) Every Monday- No TV, follow up sex optional

*Kid work in italics.

We structured our Saturdays and Mondays for manifold reasons but mostly these two:

  1. We wanted to get some things done more regularly.
  2. Nights seem to go by quickly- kids to bed by 8:45 if we’re lucky and then, often we default to a device, more work, or a show instead of spending intentional time talking together.

This has been a good rhythm and helps us have something set to accomplish that keeps us moving.

Of course there’s more that needs to happen and weeks we have to boot the whole thing. The idea is teamwork and a structure that takes it off our minds.

The success of the schedule so far begs the question, “What else should be listed in routine?Kid showers? My work life?! Fingernail clipping? Iphone photo deletes?

The other big win for 2016 so far has been some negotiations. Talking to strangers about money, services or contracts is not high on my list of fun afternoon activities. Put it right behind changing bunk bed sheets, or getting a shot. Not comfortable!

However, our internet service fee increased and I was charged for some insurance on a rental car that I did not need. In both cases, I spoke to an associate on the phone who explained they could not remove the fees or adjust the bill.

In both cases, with trepidation and yet some gumption, I asked if there was someone else with whom I could speak. Both times, I was transferred to a manager and got my issues resolved.

The next person on the line had more power to make a change. I reciprocated the power given with my own power to thank, promise return service, and yes, I’ll give good feedback on our conversation if I’m surveyed.

Seems like perhaps the first answer isn’t always the end answer.

We say this a lot in Young Life as we ask kids to camp. At first, an adult leader asking you to go to a camp far away in the summer can be a NO.

“Is there someone else I could talk to?”, asks the timid or too-cool high school friend.

Yes, yes there is. Please speak to one with more power- your peer who went last summer.”

I want second opinions or another voice in most everything I do. I make quick decisions and then back pedal later in some decisions (external processor probs), so I understand coming back around to revisit something.

In a world that is whirling and threatens to accelerate our emotions, schedules, families and souls beyond our health, I think reminders, set routine and rhythms give life.

Second opinions, “under further review”, processing more, or pushing past the first hesitation, just might get us the action or answer we really want. 




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