Routine can be a comforting thing. People need their routines. Even the most spontaneous, carefree people among us have little rituals and routines they perform during the course of a day, often subconsciously. A morning coffee. Brushing your teeth as the last thing you do when getting ready for work. Right sock, then left sock.
Babies need routines. They need to have structure to their day. They need to be held a certain way. They have certain toys to sleep with. Pets need routines. They wake up at a certain time. They get fed at a certain time. They have particular times and ways of exercising.
And I am finding, even though I don’t go off to work, I still need routines in my day. I noticed it this weekend. I had a full day, all to myself, and I planned to relax and do very little. And in the middle, I was peevish. I felt… kind of lost, kind of bored. I didn’t have a plan. So I got to thinking, what rituals and routines do I have?
- Morning coffee — I remember a passive aggressive manager I had at work commenting snidely on the fact that I had to have my coffee every morning. Well, it’s true. And it’s not necessarily the caffeine, but the warm beverage that I like. I don’t mind if it’s coffee or tea or decaf or hot chocolate — sometimes I change it up — but I like to have my warm beverage to get me going.
- My computer — Every morning after I have my coffee made and BDH’s lunch is packed, I come up and get on my computer. I check the weather, then my email, then I move across all my bookmarks on my browser (left to right), then I check my stats for my blogs. Then I open my news reader, which is a fairly recent addition to the routine. But every morning, it’s exactly the same.
- Housework — Laundry day is Monday. Tuesday I clean the downstairs. Wednesday is garbage day, and I clean the upstairs. Thursday is grocery day, and likely some baking. And when things come up, like meetings and errands and so forth, my whole week gets screwy. Even though there’s no FIXED schedule, I still feel like I am falling behind if something intrudes on the schedule I set for myself.
- Reading before bed — I have to read, even a little bit, before bed. Otherwise, it takes a while for my brain to unwind before I can fall asleep. I started that when I was on the road many years ago for work, and I spent a lot of time in hotels. When you spend half the weeks of the year in hotels, you tend to channel surf, and it plays havoc with your schedule. Or you do work, which is also bad. So, I kept the TV off, and read instead. Still do.
This week, I am trying to start a new routine: yoga in the morning. I have a Power Yoga tape (Rodney Yee. ROCKS.) that I’ve had for years that’s only 20 minutes long, but it’s a good workout. And it’s easier on my asthma than some other workouts I could do. I thought it might be a good thing to start my day, and help with my bad back. We’ll see. Conscious routines are often harder to start than the ones you fall into without thinking, so it might take some effort.
I know that these routines are all going to shift and change once we get closer to Mystery Baby, and when we actually have him/her home with us. His or her routines will become our routines. But that’s okay.
So what are your routines? Come on. Fess up. I know you have some.