I love the Super Bowl. It is by far my favorite non-religious holiday, and I make a big deal out of it. Something about the entire nation turning to one event, one epic battle, one huge production - I just love it.
This year I noticed something different. I was plagued by something I hadn't prepared for, didn't expect, and didn't know what to do about it afterwards (and no, it wasn't the play of Peyton Manning). It was the horrible decision I made to let my boys stay up and watch the end of the game. My boys love football as much as I do, so after much pleading and begging my wife & I decided to let them stay up later than normal to finish the game.
Since that moment we have regretted the choice. The problem wasn't what happened at the end of the game, the problem is the ripple for the days afterwards. Even as I write this on Tuesday the boys still haven't gone back to normal. Last night my oldest started whining so bad that I thought we had traveled back in time to the terrible twos. I was talking to him about not whining and he literally started crying. And this morning I practically got my three year old dressed while he was still sleeping. It was like working with the guy from Weekend at Bernie's.
What I began to realize is that I have undervalued routine. I have completely underestimated the power of getting everything in place at a certain time. Not only have I underestimated it in my boys' lives, but also in my own. When I think about my daily disciplines (prayer, being in the Word, journaling) I realized that I am most successful when I stay in the routine. Whenever I begin to switch up the routine is when I am most likely to cut stuff out. Sleeping for another 30 minutes seems like a good idea in the moment, but when I am stressed out and not grounded in prayer later that day is when I regret it. Messing up the routine takes days to come back from, and the ripple effect is always felt by those you are in a relationship with. Routine makes life easier for everyone.
I think that routine is more than just going through the motions of what you are "supposed" to do today. A good healthy routine is about creating a foundation for the day to build upon.
What is your routine?
What happens when you miss it?
Do you need to change your routine?