Years ago, I read several articles about the need for routine in our life. I was surprised to learn how the structure of routine helped us cope with the many small decisions that had to be made over and over again, making life easier and leaving us to concentrate on bigger, more important issues. I’d also not realized how routines gave comfort and predicatability in our daily lives.
Since then, I’ve paid much more attention to the importance of routines in my life. I love having good ones, from getting ready for work in the morning, to coming home at night to dog dances and having to give everyone a pet before kissing my favorite boy toy. Note that if he wants to be kissed first, he has to greet me at the door. He doesn’t.
I do have several observations on routines in my life:
- They need to be constantly reassessed and changed. While I’d rather not ever change routines, the fact is that what meets my needs today might not tomorrow. My current exercise routine of walking during lunch has been a struggle due to bad weather and an overly busy schedule. I’ve had to go back to the gym again, which is a different routine than my walks.
- My routines also change with the seasons. My summer exercise tends to be gardening and landscaping on the weekends. My daily devotions in the summer also change to something lighter and easier for a change of pace.
- Change disrupts my routines. I’m an unwilling participant in it, but I’ve learned to adjust my routines, whether short-term or long-term. In a week, I will start year-end close. We’ll be working most evenings and every weekend in January. I’ve know to hunker down and be careful with expectations. Work, exercise, and good nutrition are about all I’ll do for the next few weeks. It’s like this every year and at some point, it’s over.
- If a routine is infrequent, it helps me to make a list of what the routine needs. An example of this would be my to do list for when I travel of the things I need to pack. It ranges from a baseball cap to earphones to what should be in my toiletries bag.
- It’s fun to get away from my routines, but sometimes I don’t enjoy it as much as I should. I’m usually up early and while it seems fun to sleep in late on my days off, I often end up draggy and and not feeling good. I’m better off to get up and take a nap later.
With the New Year coming, it’s a good time to reevaluate what’s working and what isn’t. Changing the structure of a routine is much easier when I know what’s wrong with it. My initial change might not work, but it’s easier to try again than to stay in a rut.
And speaking of structure, I’ve also been studying the structure of a puppy’s skull. They’re very cute and very pettable, especially when they’re sleeping in my daughter’s arms.
Word for tomorrow – SLIPPERY. If you prefer to work ahead, see the list for the week under “A Word A Day”.
I am a backyard adventurer, philosopher and observer, recording my life in journals and photographs. Visit my blog at www.livingtheseasons.com or write me at dogear6 [at] gmail [dot] com.