The weather turned yesterday. Just like the next-to-last blog prophesized. Sheesh. We were just a sweater short of putting on the fire yesterday. And today.
We try NOT to burn wood til October. No reason, really. Miserly wood hoarding, I guess. Just seems like the right thing to do. But, really? NOT putting on the fire until some certain arbitrarily chosen date is one of those weird habitual things old people do, “Nah, never put on the fire til October. Never mind the snow. Put on a parka if yer cold, ya wuss!”
I have a friend who always hangs up his golf clubs on October 1st. Regardless of the weather. “Why?”, I asked. “It is October first. I always hang ém up on October 1st. Always will.”
I never understood that. Still don’t.
Generally speaking, I balk at such habits. At least I say I do. ‘Feels like living unconsciously, ya know?’ Habit, ritual, routine, scheduled maintenance…it all sucks the life out of life, I think. It definitely shortens the golf season. Still, I am doing it, too. More and more.
Living off the grid requires a kind of discipline and discipline requires routine. I watch and maintain the stockpile of food, the water system, gas, fuel and electrical sytems. I change the oil on engines, chop and stack wood, put away tools, sharpen some of them…..that kind of thing. Batteries alone are more demanding than were my two children! And none of this is in my nature. I am more of a free radical. I think life should be more of an arcade game than a card game, if you know what I mean?
The point: if you are not careful, you can live remote in the wilderness by recipe. Sounds kinda counterintuitive, doesn’t it?
Anyway, I have noticed that I am doing more and more that is the same and samer. For instance, I never got up in the morning at the same time. I could rise at 7:00 or nine. Even later sometimes. Rarely ever earlier. Just depends. But it used to depend on what time I went to sleep and I have noticed that I am going to sleep every night between 10:30 and 10:45. That’s a routine. I’d break it if I could. But I can’t. Eyes close. Done.
Worse, I am actually rising at around 7:30 more often than not. My world is getting stable. What the hell!?
Of course, some things impose their routine on me. Bowels, for instance. They have had their way with me for as long as I can remember. Stomach, too. Hard to ignore one’s gastro intestinal tract. The point: body parts impose routine, too. And, as you get older, weaker body parts impose more and more health related routines. And, collectively, the whole of the body demands hygenic routines. Always has. The way I see it, we homo sapiens are basically a routine trying to happen. All the time. “Tubes rule, dude!”
It is amazing I have any free time for my real self at all!
So, I try to resist it. Trying to have a life, as they say. For the sake of balance in my universe, I try to counter the tendency to routine. Why? Because there is a very powerful force pushing us all into routine and it is not just nature doing it. The enemy is us! Jobs. Christmas. Easter. Birthdays. Bus schedules. Regular dental care. The list is endless. Haven’t you noticed? It’s all a conspiracy, I say. Regimentation. Goose stepping. And most people go along with that.
I try not to.
But I am losing the battle. The reason: I don’t have enough free time to deal with it all. That’s why!
Ironically, Sal has always been much more comfortable with routine in her life. Til lately, anyway. Now she seems to be balking, too. Nowadays the only behaviour of hers I can count on is her breaking at 5:00 for a glass of wine and yet dinner, for instance, is getting harder and harder to come by. Unless, of course, I make it. Which is OK. So long as it doesn’t become a routine.
She’ll play with the dogs, go to book club and whinge about missing yoga but, generally speaking, she is rebelling at all the thngs she used to do without thinking about it, too.
Like, I am doing the dishes all the $#%$#@ time now.
Where is the routine (for her) when you need one, eh?
You can see where this is going…..right?
Well, I don’t. I have no idea. Does this mean that between the requirements of the bed (and, by ‘bed’ I mean ‘sleeping’), the woodshed, the workshop, the bathroom, the kitchen and the dogs, my life is over? Have I been subtly conscripted into a regular system of sorts? Have I lost my free will or is it simply a function of time management with too little time?
What exactly the hell is going on?