Of Routines and Rhythms

Our sugar gliders love their routine. Every night at 8pm, we get them from their pouch, feed them treats, then they hang out on a blanket in John's office. Just before midnight, they get active because they know John is going to let the dogs outside and prepare their dinner. Curious and alert, they watch what's going on, then have dinner and play in their cage. At about 6am the next morning, they know that I will come get them for more playtime where they run around John's office pushing things off shelves and generally having a great time. When it is time for me to go work out, they jump back to me and let me carry them to their cage. They know playtime is over.

Our dogs like their routine too. They greet us when we come home, then expect to go outside. (In the mornings before I leave they dance over to the pantry door with tails wagging knowing I will give them a treat.)

When I worked for early childhood consultants, much of the training was in the importance of daily routine for children.

I guess if you think about it, it makes sense. All of nature runs on a schedule. Sun rises and sets. Tide goes in and out. Moon phases from full to new. Seasons change.

Yet everything inside me rebels at routine. It feels confining. Stifling. Maybe it has something to do with the word. Routine. Boring.

It interested me that Ron Martoia used a different phrase. He talks about personal rhythms.

Rhythm. That has a different feel entirely. More like a waltz than a schedule.

As I went through my Wahlstedt-inspired schedule audit, I realized I don't have a lot of control over my time. I have a day job. I have a husband. I have kids. But I do have control over my morning and evening routines.

Since December, my morning routine has included a workout, and since May, John and I close every evening with prayer. By setting an alarm on my phone for 9pm in the evening, I now have time for yoga and contemplative prayer.

An hour on Saturday morning carves out time for planning vegan meal options and going to any specialty stores for ingredients to try out in new recipes.

Minor edits to my schedule where all that is really lost is a bit of TV time is allowing me to do some things I really wanted to do this year.

Rhythm. It even sounds pretty.
© Random Cathy
Maira Gall