After my earth-shattering reflections on laziness these past couple of days, I recognized for the 100th time that I don’t really live life by routine, and although I’ve survived twelve years of adult life without routine, I’m probably less happy for it. So, last night, after mourning my sunburn and wishing but not wishing that full-body sunscreen was part of my non-existent morning routine, I decided to begin what promises to be a riveting multi-part analysis of what should be routine and why it’s not. Don’t worry…I’ll include cliffhangers.
In no particular order, an ideal daily routine would include the following tasks:
- getting dressed
- washing face at morning and at night
- brushing teeth at morning and at night
- flossing at morning and at night
- putting worn clothes away properly
- cleaning cat box
- putting my used dishes away
- brushing my hair
- eating breakfast
- filling water bottle
I manage to do many of these things most of the time, but it turns out that there’s really only one that I always do every day without fail. Which one? There’s a cliffhanger for you.
But alas, I’m not done with this post yet. I quickly brainstormed why I don’t succeed at doing these things every day, and surprise, the #1 answer was “laziness”…but that’s just because I was being lazy. When I really thought about it, I realized that laziness isn’t a very precise diagnosis, and it certainly didn’t help me construct a solution other than “be less lazy.” So, as happiness lady advises, I made a better attempt to “identify the problem,” and it turns out that, rather than being irreparably lazy, I simply don’t have a clear, constant awareness of why some of these things should be daily priorities, so they aren’t. Sure, I “know” that I “should” do all this stuff, but I think that shoulds without personalized, internalized whys easily become sources of phantom guilt that, rather than provoking change, just haunt you and ruin your life. So, I’m going to give more thought to those whys.
Final thought of the hour: even if I succeed at articulating all the whys, I’m pretty sure that the point of routine is so that you don’t have to think through stuff every time you do it. You just do it because that’s what you do, and your life is mysteriously better for it. I guess I’ve just not been successful at establishing the requisite faith in routine to pursue it unyieldingly. So, that’s really my ultimate goal: to justify that faith so that, someday, I’ll do what needs to be done without having to rethink my priorities every day of my life.