Sunday, December 30, 2007

Creature of Routine:

In my youth, I lived an extremely flexible life. Nothing was a regular responsibility, not even flossing or dishwashing. (Well, maybe practicing.) I liked the feeling of living impromptu, making decisions about what to do on the spur of the moment. Day-to-day life had a lot of enjoyable variety.

In his late 80's, my father-in-law gave me a hint that such variety and old age do not mix. I admired his inflexible insistence on washing the dishes before playing Scrabble, even if we barely had time for a decent Scrabble game. There was iron routine in his life, and that routine ensured a certain order in his household, made it less likely that he would founder beneath duties undone.

I'm only in my sixties, but I have become much more a creature of routine. There are maybe a dozen things I try to do everyday, despite the incredibly varied ebb and flow of the rest of my life.

As I watched myself falling into this semblance of routine, I hated it. I regarded my new habits as a necessary evil to be understood and despised, but not abandoned. Which brings me to our recent vacation.

We were away from home for two weeks, during which I abandoned all pretense of routine, even taking daily vitamins. I never did my flexing exercises. I got around to almost all the usual routine items every few days. I was living the flexible life again. Why not, I was on vacation! And then we came home.

I found myself determined to pick up every bit of my routine life again, the flossing, the flexing, the walking, the dishwashing, the vitamins, the medicaments, etc., etc. As all of my routine life fell back into place, I felt good. I was home.
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