A few years ago my husband introduced me to the idea of having “tentpoles” for a vacation, big events, outings and activities that sort of define the entire period of time.  Myself, I am fine with spending every day at the beach building sandcastles, but I generally defer to his wisdom, and (almost) never regret it.

For some reason I never got a visual on that word.  Yesterday I finally did.  The tentpoles are the things that hold up the big canvas for the circus that is life, so it doesn’t fall on your head and suffocate you.  Which is how I feel when my life starts to overwhelm me.

At those times, I feel a horrible panic, a gasping for air, a sense that the world is crashing down.

Yesterday it occurred to me that I need tentpoles in my daily and weekly life.  I need to acknowledge that the elements of my routine are holding up the rest of my life, and allow them to reassure me and give me space.

I made a couple of lists, which is my favorite way to organize. (Of course there are lots more things I do every day and every week, but these are the ones so far that make me feel like I’m gettin’ ‘er done…)

Daily Tentpoles:

  • Tea/coffee and read something inspiring with my husband
  • Morning and evening sun salutation (yoga)
  • Storytime with the kids
  • Evening show or movie with the family
  • Yardwork

Weekly Tentpoles:

  • Tuesday – Coffee/Brekkie with friends
  • Thursday – Playgroup
  • Saturday – Farmer’s Market, then library
  • Sunday – Phone call to Mama

I want to add blogging to my daily tentpoles.  I’ve got some ideas on how to add content even if I’m not terribly inspired that day, such as doing a Top Five post, a blast from the past journal entry, sharing a blog link, an anecdote, tripping on a good quote or meditating on some engaging topic.

Do you have tentpoles that hold up your day or week?  Are they things that weigh heavily on you if you don’t do them or are they things that lighten you if you do get them done?  How often do they change?


2 responses to “Tentpoles

  1. I’m still working on my weekly ones. I do like my daily routines and especially my down times.

  2. Thank you for posting this Elena. I really needed it when it came through my inbox. I reminds me that it’s so important to just take time and catch a breath sometimes.

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