Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Routine courage

About the time I first joined Twitter, I saw this cartoon:


Isn't that a hefty link???  It does lead to what stands out this morning.  Yesterday's post was about my Sunday morning routine.  Many mornings, evenings, holidays and other events have routines.  There are all sorts of books and articles about routines and habits, how to mold them, change them, improvement them, etc.  

They are part of all life.  I see that even the squirrels and birds have routines at the feeder, even in this 14° below zero weather.  Routines are fascinating.  They work much the same every time and yet we don't plan them and we don't think consciously about them. We go through them without noticing, except to admire our subconscious wisdom directing us over and over.  

When I first joined Twitter, some of the introductory messages encouraged me to be like the train passenger in the cartoon.  Use Twitter to state that I was brewing coffee, that I was pouring a cup of coffee, that I was lifting it to my mouth, etc.  Two different commenters this morning mentioned the description of a routine as a good conveyor of a person's life.  They said they get a feeling of intimacy and understanding of being with a person when they know something of that person's routine.  I think they are right but I feel strong reluctance in myself to say what I am doing.  Not exciting enough.  Not memorable or notable.  Embarrassing to relate.  Why do I feel that way?  How can I tell it is "beneath me" to write about routines?  Why do I think you will sneer at me if you read about my morning oatmeal?

I want to hear about yours.  In fact, I can be surprisingly interested in your routines.  I do need some detail.  Not too much but at crucial points your description will raise up questions in me: why that and not this?  How long?  How much?  Don't you realize that MY way is way better?  Got a reason why I should adopt your routine?  Is it really better?  Cheaper?  Faster?  More fun?

Usually too much questioning will get annoying.  It will seem like criticism or you will be unhappy that you don't know answers to my inane inquiries.  You will just wave me away.  Sometimes, a picture or a video of a routine being carried out will help.  (iPads are very good at both, Mrs. O!)  Not that pictures will always be better.  They are handy for some purposes and some descriptions but words make the background, words can direct the attention.  I guess I could say that careful awareness while carrying out a routine will tip me off to what parts create thoughts.  Tying my shoes, making a phone call - when doing something routine, when do I have thoughts direct me?

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