Cleaning, Frugal Living, Rituals

Zen Fridays

Fridays used to be busy at our house. Then I changed my thinking. They have a routine that has become joyful.

I get up early every morning because it’s my peaceful, quiet time for coffee and reflection. Then the teenager sits with me for half an hour before we eat breakfast. Breakfast is simple fresh fruit. I stay in my loungewear to take him to school. On the way back I buy fruit and vegetables for the weekend. When I get home I put vegetable soup in the slow cooker and cut up finger vegetables for home and work. This is when I prep for the boys’ meals while I am at work. I make sure there is freshly made bread on Thursdays. I’ll make another bread like tortillas or cornbread too. While I work in the kitchen I listen to an audiobook. While soup and bread are cooking I clean bathrooms and floors. Then I put the soup in Mason jars and let bread cool. After a quiet lunch I shower and put on makeup. My hair is a wash and finger comb with gel so it’s about 30 seconds work. Right before I go to pick up the teen, I make phone calls for appts and reconcile the monthly spreadsheet for expenses to date while I have a cup of tea. My Thursday plan makes it a pleasant day because all I have to do is grab my backpack and food bag to go when we arrive home after school. I’m lucky that I work all of my hours in one go from Friday afternoon to Sunday morning.

Rituals, Uncategorized

Meaningful Rituals

37130

Meaningful rituals are a great part of my life. As I grow older I learn to recognize and appreciate them ever more. It helps that I have learned to slow down and not fill my life or my time with garbage. When I use the term garbage I mean those things that have little or no meaning that people do just because society deems it so or because they think it will impress other people. Thankfully I have outgrown my insecurities and now simply appreciate my time and the evidence of peace in my life. Here are my rituals:

1) Rise Early
I rise nearly every morning at 5 o’clock. This is the time of the day that is
quiet and allows me to reflect. I tried more traditional methods such as
meditation and prayer but the mere act of rising early and sitting is just that.

2) Coffee and Nothing Else
Upon arising early in the morning I find myself studiously making a fine cup of
coffee. I dress it up with cream and something sweet even though I shouldn’t.
This goes well with staring out at the finishing full moon of the night or with
the slow rocking of the chair while seated in my velvet pants and warm sweater.

3) Walking
I’ve taken to walking the dog just as the sun finds itself over the eastern
mountains. His happiness and getting out and exploring is contagious even if we
have engaged the route many times before. Somehow it always seems new. This joy
first thing in the day is such positive and natural exercise that I hardly know
I am actually doing something that’s good for me. It’s a simple joy.

4) Writing
Writing is a Fall and Winter Ritual. I find the change of the seasons to change
me from the gardener to the reflective recluse as I huddle in front of the
computer and find a tale to put down in black and white. Whatever seems to suit
my mood at the moment. I have numerous blogs that I write with each in it’s own
true unique category. One or two are private to keep me on track.

5) Gardening
Gardening is the Spring and Summer Ritual that replaces writing in the warm
months. I do plan it all year long and then go full swing as soon as the
weather allows it. The change of the seasons still enthralls me and I love to
make things grow seemingly from nothing. Even pulling weeds and tending soil
is captivating and wondrous. It brings me in touch with the earth.

6) Tea Time
Tea Time is always at 3 o’clock in the afternoon. I always stop what I am
doing and make a cup of tea. I have this along with something sweet such as
a square of dark chocolate. This makes me stop and take a breath during my day
and say a silent thanks of gratitude for my wonderful life that I lead.

7) Reading Together
At the end of every day our family reads together. We turn everything else off
and lock the door then each with our own book on digital device we take time
out of our day to challenge our brains and absorb true knowledge or enjoy a
work of fiction lost in time and place.

Meaningful rituals will vary with each person and each lifestyle. Creating your own rituals gives a sense of comfort and consistency to a life that is full of unknowns. They take away the chaos if only for a few moments and establish wonder and gratitude where there was doubt and misconception. Traditionally rituals involved religious ceremony and prayer. Some still remain to this day and are quite beautiful. Whatever the reason that you choose to establish rituals in your life consider basing them on finding peace within.