Last night, as the happy dog and I were walking through the ‘hood… I found myself thinking about what days I feel happiest and most productive.
It may sound borrrrrring, but the days I am most productive and find time for the most joy are the days steeped in routine and ritual.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” Aristotle
“We’re worn into grooves by Time and by our habits. In the end, these grooves are going to show whether we’ve been second rate or champions, each in his way in dispatching the affairs of every day. By choosing our habits, we determine the grooves into which Time will wear us; and these are grooves that enrich our lives and make for ease of mind, peace, happiness and achievement.”
Frank B. Gilberth
See… routines are our habits!!! Our habits are part of what defines us!!!
Rituals soothe me. And I find comfort in the cadence of routine. I feel myself marching towards my goals in an easier, more concentrated manner.
When I get up on time, I get out of bed… We do our yoga, and pilates… I go down stairs, get my supplies (mp3 player, water, sometimes 1st coffee) and head down to the basement for cardio and/or strength training, and stretching — always stretching. 🙂
After working out, Hubs compiles our lunches, we make breakfast. We eat, then get ready for work.
We come home. First one home, starts dinner. We eat. We take care of the dishes.
We relax a bit, sometimes do some other chores.
We walk the dog.
Then in the glorious half hour before bed… We take time to sit and relax together with a cup of decaf coffee. Sometimes, like last night… we sit in our chairs in the front yard and just look at the moon and stars… Other nights, I get to read. Sometimes we just hang out on the couch. 🙂 The little of this ritual that always makes me smile is the decaf part. It makes me think of my grandmother (Nammy) who passed away this summer. She always had a cup of decaf with dinner. It makes me smile and feel closer to her when I have a cup of decaf each night.
We get ready for bed.
We rest for the night.
Yes, there’s variations… Wednesdays I should clean. I’m trying to incorporate that into my mornings, by having rest days fall on Wednesdays… and taking advantage of being up at 5:00 am to clean before work. The weekends are invariably bumps in the road with the hours of freedom stretching out in front of us… 🙂
All in all, that’s the tempo of our life… And I love it. I love knowing that when we click along with our routines, that our life is happy and healthy… And we have time and space to enjoy without feeling guilty about not being productive.
It’s not easy, but, it sure is rewarding.