Scheduling playtime

Last weekend, Mr. Wanderlust and I planned to paint the bedrooms in our home. On Saturday, he painted one of the rooms while I did laundry. We couldn’t bear staying indoors on the first summer-like weekend of the season, and that is why we spent an entire day exploring the city and the beach with Wanderlust Juniors, visiting our old neighbourhood in Toronto, to which we return when given the chance. Discipline, especially when it comes to home renovations, is not my strong suit. Give me permission to explore at leisure, and I will be eternally grateful. That is why schedule and discipline are important to me. As an INFP, the idealist, it’s natural for me to dream the day away, forgetting all about my responsibilities. Given the opportunity, I wouldn’t think twice before heading out the door to drive to the forest for a long walk, then make my way to a favourite cafe, followed by the park or the beach to write in my notebook and read for many hours.

Planning and careful scheduling are important, and although housework and other weekly routines need to be planned in advance, equally important to me is to schedule time to play. I carve out daily time for yoga, pilates and/or dance, and weekly writing time, as well as date nights with Mr. Wanderlust, because unfortunately, what we enjoy is often superseded by something else that seems more pressing but most often isn’t really all that important.

Likewise, I don’t have a natural tendency to be a strict, practical parent. I’m your typical easy-going hippie mom who prefers to discuss big ideas with her children than remind them to do their homework. Enforcing discipline in our home by reminding Wanderlust Juniors about their responsibilities as part of the daily structure is something that I don’t enjoy, yet I continue to remind myself of the ‘bigger picture,’ of the importance of teaching them lessons early on in order to allow them to succeed in life. Then, I wonder whether this is the correct approach or if I should parent intuitively.

Perhaps that is the reason why, given the chance, we choose to explore. Strict scheduling and self-discipline get me through the week, allowing me to stay on track while taking care of my family. And then, we reward ourselves with permission to play outside without a care – well, at least without too many cares. Whether our playground is the beach, the forest, the park, or a city neighbourhood that we haven’t visited in a while, we seize every opportunity to get out and wander, allowing our souls to retreat from the daily responsibilities at home and at work, giving ourselves full permission to be dreamers.

How do you create the perfect balance between self-discipline and time to rest and play? Please leave a comment below.

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