Thursday, March 3, 2011

Comfort in Routine

As the world turns and living creates turmoil beyond our control, I find comfort in personal routine. For example, eating is a necessary routine and “Comfort Food” is virtual transportation back to simpler times, when Mommy fed me favorite foods that made me warm and happy. I love mom’s Meatloaf, and various Greek dishes that evoke the memories of the fellowship at our church. When I have those foods now, they simply make me happy on a soulful level.

Retired now, and able to shield ourselves from much of the chaos around us, we have discovered a few things. We don’t much care for having our routine involuntarily interrupted. Our tolerance for personal drama has withered. The new life we have orchestrated puts a high value on calm, relaxation, and pleasure. Perceived attacks on that stress-free lifestyle are defended. There certainly will be life events that disrupt the peace – accident, illness, family misfortune – but we will deal with those as they occur, without artificially creating or anticipating disaster.

The day begins when I make a pot of coffee, open the window shades, and check in on my friends online. Before showering and dressing, I make the bed (it’s a rule). I try to work out 5 days a week, but I have to admit that’s not a routine quite yet, and my exercise often takes different forms (elliptical or treadmill/crunches/weights, or a round of golf, a hike in Prescott or a long walk in the city) at different times of day.

When I’m tired and ready for bed, the routines are short and sweet. I wash my face and brush my teeth, and turn down the bed. My feet get a luxurious treatment with a lavender-scented shea butter crème, before they slide between the sheets. I usually fall asleep easily, with the smell of lavender on my hands.

These little routines create normalcy that simply grounds my day. When my schedule was more hectic, many things fell by the wayside as stress and time pressures caused me to foolishly deprive myself of the simple pleasures of finding comfort in routine. No more. I deserve this.

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