To some extent, I am a creature of habit. My routine helps me stay organized. It eases me into my day. It helps me ward off my innate laziness.
I wake up with coffee, food, a book, and some chatter.
It’s a pretty good start to any day. When I was commuting to work, it was book (on the bus), followed by coffee and chatter with coworkers as we read emails and started into tasks. Both then and now, I shift my attention to accomplishing my day’s goals.
These goals can vary from the natural (wearing out the dogs somehow), the mundane (doing the dishes, cruising through the garden) to the sublime (accomplishing a writing goal or two). I examine my to-do list and see what I can check off quickly (pay a bill or two) or what will take more effort (I’m looking at you, taxes!), then pick one or two. Blocking off a few hours can devote time to a dive deep , usually online, like a writing goal or planning a trip. I shut my office door, throw on some instrumental music, and get to it.
Lately, I've started to wonder if I have cultivated my habitual routine so that, when Alzheimer’s knocks into me--sadly, it runs in the family--I may be able to get through my day doing things that I always do. My reasoning is that if I continue to seem normal, maybe I’ll stay normal, with the goal to put off the erosion of myself as long as possible.
In the meantime—as in before I’m blindsided by something that may not be inevitable—I follow a routine just to give my day structure. It’s nice to be at a point in life where I can dictate my own structure, instead of shoe-horning in the needs of too many other people or of a company. I feel spoiled!
By the end of most days, I can feel like I’ve accomplished something. Of course, there are always
those days where a lot of wheels are spun and nothing gets finished. I try to think of those days as ‘prep’ days, like they are days when my ground-work gets and it clears the path to the important stuff.
How About You?
Do you strive for the sense of achieving something? What’s your routine? What makes you change it? Or do you avoid routines to keep things fresh? I’d love to see other approaches.
Let’s discuss them in the comments.