Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Keeping Routines

These last few months, I have not been happy. I mean, I have been happy on occasions, but overall, the word "happy" is not a word I would chose to describe myself.

My world has been turning up-side-down, and it is not for one thing in particular. A bunch of things. And you know, when I have been jostled, one thing that happened is that I no longer had routines. We would have a couple of nights a week that I would prepare the same dish. I had been doing this for more than ten years. No longer.

I had been waking up and going to bed at the same times. No longer. It is much more regular that I wake up in the middle of the night, remembering a vivid dream, and then I would question what I thought reality was. And I have not been working out. And I have not been doing anything with regularity, including writing this blog.

I wonder if keeping certain routines are important for happiness.


Advizor said...

Years ago a friend of mine claimed that routine and ritual was a "straitjacket on the creative mind". He wanted desperately to be a tortured artist and refused to wear a watch, show up on time, eat at the same place twice in a month, or shop for clothes at the same store...

But, we pointed out to him, these behaviors had become just as routine and ritualized as any other. He was always 15 minutes late, he had a list of 32 restaurants and if it was the 15th, you could find him at Sizzler. He rotated his clothes every three months, like clock work. He was OCD, but in slow motion.

The point is, even in rebellion, he found ritual and routine. Every counter-culture movement builds it's own routines.

So, I think yes, we all seek comfort and happiness in the routines of our life.

Go to the gym, make macaroni cheese on Tuesdays, and have sex Monday nights @ 10:00.

And be happy.

Anonymous said...

I think there are some elements that need to be kept regular. We need our daily habits to have a form of safety. However, mixing it up now and then is needed to keep from getting in a rut. I think everyone needs some sort of routine and some sort of variety. I like variety in my food and entertainment. I like my schedule to stay pretty regular.

I think you are normal. I would say maybe a large dose of regularity might be in order.

Malach the Merciless said...

It is Freddy Kruger I tell you, DON'T FALL ASLEEP!

Leesa said...

Advizor: Similarly, I think that the counter-culture that wants to be "individuals" by rebelling in the same way is interesting. To rebel and yet be indistinguishable from other rebels, to me, is highly ironic and entertaining.

Knot: I think having my daily habits in a mess really messes with my mind.

Malach: And I thought Freddy was after you.

famy said...

i gues routine make u happy because u'll feel coordinated

Sheen V said...

I find that the routines actually free up my mind. Khakis on Monday and Wednesdays, black pants on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and jeans on Friday. Same lunch almost every day during the week. By not having to think about these things I can think about other things.

Xmichra said...

lol.. advizors comment was so true it was funny...

routine keeps the spontanious from being routine, and makes abstract things well, abstract. I can see how that can throw you.

LarryLilly said...

So your nucking futz.

Join the rest of us

I have a routine that is set by me. I can change it but why, it works. I take a breath, then another and pretty soon it becomes a habit.

Except when i had sleep apnea, then i would take a breath, and skip some two minutes, then wake and take a really deep one to you know, make up for the little ones I missed. But its that sort of routine that we do, keeping us alive and regular.


After I lost 95 pounds, i no longer have sleep apnea, but just for old time sake, and to scare the chit out of my wife, I will hold my breath for as long as I can when I think she is hearing me breath, then gasp.

Nah, she sleeps like a rock.

But as far as routines go, if they work, then they are fine and if its more like halleys comet, once a lifetime, then thats ok too. After all, you will only have one birth and one death. What else happens once?

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry you have been feeling less than happy, Leesa. I know exactly what that's like. There's even a clinical term -- anhedonia -- that describes the sensation.

While I take comfort and solace in certain routine behaviors, I also find departures from my norm can pump me up and leet me approach life with new gusto.

May you find your 'you' because there is lots about you that I don't think even you fully appreciate but lots of others of us do.