Generally speaking, I tend to balk at routine. It’s just not my style to do the same thing the same way at the same time every day. I don’t even like to brush my teeth at the same time every day. After a week or so of some kind of behavioural pattern emerging, I try to change it. Do things differently. It’s in the DNA.
It was also a bit of a challenge to holding a steady job. I even made it a point to drive to work a different route every day or, at the very least, vary my arrival times. That I never actually did the rote work demanded of me except to break the routine of chaos now and then was a side benefit. The employer was happy once in awhile.
This is a hard attitude to sustain when working with government or big business. My so-called careers with such places were typically short.
Which fit the larger pattern of preferred randomness rather nicely.
But, of course, some things demand repeat performances on a regular and predictable basis and, being mature, I have come to accept that. Not like it but I accept it. Mostly.
Wednesday is community day. The dogs must be fed between 4:30 and 5:00, Sal gets a glass of wine poured at 5:00 and, with few exceptions, that is all part of a larger routine to which I have surrendered. In itself, not so much a big deal or even a great sacrifice. Still, a challenge. For me. I want to balk sometimes.
Hard to fight one’s DNA.
I mention all this because I have finally found a habit I like. In fact, I like this habit so much it has become part of our larger routine and I have not felt the least like rebelling. I like it. In fact, I am the Mother Superior of this habit.
Often after a day (hard, easy, short or long) we finish dinner and I go upstairs with Sal and a small scotch and put on a movie. Ideally, it is a BBC production but a good Hollywood movie will do in a pinch and a cheap B action-thriller is quite acceptable to me. Preferable, actually.
Every fifth movie has to be a chick-flick or a ‘quirky comedy‘ for Sal. We do this thing together. We never argue. She doesn’t ask questions except, “Why is that car blowing up and why are the guys flying through the air in slow motion shooting each other again? Sorry, I must have nodded off. And anyway, haven’t we already seen this one?” It is wonderful. I love it.
To be fair, I may ask a question about a chick-flick, too. But generally I just suffer in silence. It is still wonderful. “So the kid and his dog are dying from some kind of chemical poisoning from a dilapidated Dupont chemical plant and she and the woman next door are victims of spousal abuse. Plus she gets assaulted at work by the plant supervisor. And this is all happening in Karachi? So, how did we all get together in a slum in Chicago? Sorry, I must have drifted off.”
One of our favourite movie genres used to be nature shows. You know, like the Discovery Channel presents two hours on water falls or a ten-part series on wheat? But something happened a few years ago and we just can’t watch nature shows anymore. It is not like we don’t want to. We just can’t. We both nod off. Sal can’t usually get past the opening credits. The Blue Planet series put Sal to sleep before the DVD started spinning. If I didn’t swap the DVD out soon after, we’d both spend the next two hours comatose in the chairs.
Sadly, we cannot watch nature anymore.
And I have a theory why. You see, it is a bit like that old routine-thing again, isn’t it? We get nature all day. We get the real thing. Real whales. Real eagles. Real ravens. We get nature in 3D with surround sound. And, as good as they are, the Discovery channel still delivers on film. So, it is a combination of our new routine of ‘living, working and being’ in nature’ all day long and then having that supplemented by artificial versions for entertainment in the evening.
It becomes a routine. It is sleep inducing in the extreme.