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Routines in the Big Woods

Way before there was FlyLady with her Before Bedtime Routine there was Little House in the Big Woods.

In this book, Laura Ingalls Wilder describes life with Ma and Pa and her sisters Mary and Carrie as they live for a year in their little log house deep in the woods.  Each day of the week has its own work as Ma washes on Monday, irons on Tuesday and, after working hard all week, rests on Sunday.  Each day follows the same routine with the daily chores of dishwashing and bed making being done first, then the work for that day of the week.  Once the work is done there’s some time for play before the evening’s chores see the animals tended and the family settle down to singing and storytelling after dinner while Pa greases his boots and Ma does the mending.  Laura’s life is ordered and regulated by these routines while the wheel of the year turns through each season with its specific work and play.

There are no aimless days.  No one wanders from one activity to the next wondering what will make her happy.  The tedium of channel surfing has not even been imagined.  Instead, life is securely anchored by the routines.

I need routines and lists.  Without them I drift through my days and go to bed feeling frustrated with the day.  Without a routine of work and play I spend all of my time on one or the other, lose my balance and tumble into sloth.  Today has been such a day and I would like nothing more than to go to bed (it’s 11:12am) with a bar of chocolate and the TV for company.

It’s a long time since I’ve done FlyLady but, as I look at Laura and Ma going through their routines, I’m thinking that it might be time for me to look at mine.


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