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The American Author Annie Dillard said…

A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days. It is a scaffolding on which a worker can stand and labor with both hands at sections of time.

Its an interesting quote and one which holds a lot of wisdom I feel.  For those of us who suffer from poor mental health that ‘chaos’ can be a very real threat and a regular and frequent ( and often an uninvited and unwelcome) visitor to our minds and thus our lives.

Order and structure are therefore so very important and certainly order and structure make very poor bedfellows for chaos.

The adoption of my new healthier lifestyle (albeit a somewhat enforced adoption as a result of the potential consequences of not adopting it) seems to be paying dividends both physically and mentally and I am so very pleased about that.

But I have noticed that even with its benefits there are certain things which are starting to become strained and which obviously need addressing.

One thing which has become obvious is a need to be disciplined about my schedule and especially my sleep patterns.  I have set myself a goal or target in respect of how much walking I am doing each day and thankfully I have been able to achieve that goal every day so far.  BUT it has been very tough.

In order to achieve that goal I need to walk at regular intervals throughout the day and failing to do so has a knock-on effect.  2 days ago I had a very busy day and was very much feeling the effects of the new exercise regime and so lacked motivation.  I ended up going for my final walk that day in a very tired and worn out state and much later than usual.

The walk woke me up a little and when I came back from it I played my new Xbox for a few hours before going to bed and waking up much later than usual.  This meant I missed my now usual early morning walk and so the same thing happened that day too.

I am feeling the effects of this so much today.  I am groggy and lethargic and not feeling well at all, even my mind is not good today and I know it.

The thing is I have for many years been nocturnal in my timetable and changing is very hard.  BUT I know that changing is the right thing to do.  I need order and structure and I need that schedule and to stick to it.  It is the only way I can have the healthier lifestyle and keep that chaos at bay.

So today I am drawing up a schedule and will be trying to keep to it.  I will of course not be so rigid or fanatical about it that it controls my life but I will be using it as tool through which I can achieve my goals.

I am also not seeing these recent difficulties as failures but as a part of the learning curve that is natural whenever you start a new project.  So despite the way I am feeling today I am still able to be positive in my approach which is a good thing I feel.

I liked the new clarity of thought and the relative peace of mind I was enjoying and I need to do what I can to protect and maintain that.