Now there’s a debate! I can imagine teams forming, the gulf between them opening up like the parting of the Red Sea (or was it the Dead Sea? I can never remember. At least I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t remember if I ever tried to.) There’s one group of you taking the side of routines being a necessary means of structuring your life so that you can be more efficient, more dependable, and so on. Those of you on my side (oops! did I just take sides?) will be pointing out the joys of Serendipity. The value of being flexible, living “in the moment” . . .
Well, I don’t know where it all leads. It’s just that I’ve noticed that I, in fact, do have some routines in my life at the moment. I expect those of you on Team A will scoff, and say they don’t rate a mention, but for me they represent a rather startling development. Okay, I won’t hold you in suspense any longer. The two routines I have developed are #1 I eat the same thing for breakfast every day: coffee and an English muffin. No big deal, you’re thinking. It is for me. I’ve always tended to think that having the same breakfast every day was — well, a bit anal, if you want to know. Obsessive at worst; unimaginitive at least. And in either case, downright boring. But here I am, feeling like I haven’t had breakfast until I’ve had my cuppa and an English muffin. I find it comforting, or at least comfortable. What does that mean?
#2 The other thing that I’ve identified as routine is my 3X-week swim. I’ve been doing it for a number of years, and I’m sure it does me good, but now that I’ve identified it as a routine, I’m not so sure anymore. Maybe I’m just in a rut! The swimming is by appointment, so I have standing appointments for each of the three days. That sort of forces an element of routine on me to begin with, but it is the fact that they have become something of an anchor (perhaps that’s not the best way to characterise a swim, come to think of it). Okay, they give a bit of shape to my week. Otherwise, how would I know what day it is? The thing about the swimming is, I wouldn’t miss it for anything — other than a tsunami hitting Tasmania, or a better offer.
Now I’m just wondering what it means to have reached this point in my life before ever developing a routine. The truth is, I like the unexpected. I don’t want to be predictable (a trait that definitely did not endear me to secretaries). I fancy myself capable of responding to whatever surprises that Life hurls my way. So what’s with the damn muffins?
Hey! I think I get it! What could possibly be more unpredictable than me developing a routine at the age of 66? I feel better now.
Oops! Gotta run. It’s time for morning tea . MM