After turning off the alarm clock and turning on my satellite radio to listen to Howard Stern like I always do, I took my dog for a walk up the steep pathway from my tucked away cottage into the parking lot which leads to civilization. This area offers a great view west and looks out over the airport and its one runway. Each morning, around the same time, I see the planes line up to take off. The colorful Southwest Airlines planes are a constant, the big Alaska Airlines plane, soon followed by the smaller Alaska jet with the Native American face on the side, then a behemoth Fed Ex cargo plane departs. Same planes, same time every day. These few minutes got me thinking about routine. Routines. Customs. Habits. The performing of tasks. Life’s little and big rituals. Routine - often perceived by me as negative.
Routine can be a source of mild comfort expanding to overwhelming anxiety for me. I like having hot tea at night before going to sleep. Reassuring and soothing. Routine = good.
Living a life of uninspired repetition: to/from work at the same time, eating the same food, driving the same roads, knowing that it will take me 8 minutes to get from a certain intersection to my home only to do the same mundane things at the usual time before starting it all over again. Routine = not good.
I remember being a kid and sometimes my mom would make breakfast for dinner. Pancakes and eggs and bacon and syrup…at night!! Food prepared in a way I thought was only capable before 9am. Not routine = good…and delicious
I also remember a time when I felt chronically depressed, sickly, and sluggish. Not routine = not good
I have certainly made big changes in my routine over the last few months. New sights, new roads, new people and new frustrations. I find myself settling into a routine, and not feeling those pangs of anxiety. I am learning that routine doesn’t have to be perceived as negative and filled with dread. I go to the ocean every chance I get to take in the waves and the fresh air. I get home from work and the dog I walk every morning energetically greets me wagging his backside and giving me kisses - this is routine. Certainly not mundane or monotonous. It’s these little traditions that make the good routines of life all worth it.
Enough of this self-actualization crap - how many days until Spring Training???
“ Loo, loo, loo ... I got some apples. Loo, loo, loo .. you got some too…” – Leopold “Butters” Stotch