Bless the ordinary days. When I was younger I thought it would be big moments that define life. That didn’t turn out to be true. The one thing I can count on is routine. I love it.
Routine isn’t boring. It allows me to accomplish new things because no matter what happens when I venture into some other territory, I can return to stand (or sit) on the smooth and relatively splinter-free platform of the everyday and maybe even become bolder because of the foundation routine provides.
When I was younger I thought it would be big moments that defined life. That hasn’t turned out to be true. Often when drama’s ahead, I turn around and return as quickly as possible back to the smaller, the more familiar.
Habits are sometimes the only thing I can control for weeks at a time, and I count each choice I get to make a small victory. They give me freedom to feel most myself.
When I venture into new experiences, one of the best parts is knowing the familiar awaits. Sometimes the new thing works out, sometimes not. But there’s always the favorite chair, book, coffee, music, supper, TV show, and work I enjoy to return to.
Music is a vital part of the day. While I type this, I’m listening to guitarist Chris Whiteman, “The Nearness of You.”
In this abbreviated exchange of emails, one generation of multi-taskers laments and the next generation has the last word.
I emailed my friend, Sueann and my daughter, Cathleen, to brag about a fleeting spurt of energy. Most of our group emails have to do with handicapping Dancing With The Stars or So You Think You Can Dance, and since neither show is on right now (sigh) we’re back to discussing real life.
Sueann and I go way back to the days when each of us raised kids and ran a company and volunteered many hours and were sometimes married and sometimes not. We were multi-tasking dynamos. Cath belongs to a more Zen school of thought.
Here’s my email to Sueann and Cath:
I am pleased to announce that I may be getting my multi-tasking mojo back. Proof positive is the fact that I’m making oatmeal/raisin/walnut cookies at this moment, while scanning the newspaper, while jumping up to add paragraphs to a short story in progress, while replying to emails. Oh yes I am. I had almost forgotten how to multi-task, but it’s working for me today. I will probably give myself a headache, so I’m enjoying it while it lasts.
Sueann: I am so proud of you. I lost my multi-tasking mojo a few months ago and I’m not concerned about where it went. I’ve decided that it just could be overrated.
Mine: Oh puh-leeze. Today is a freak occurrence. I didn’t seek it out. It just snuck up on me. I agree with you. It’s overrated. I look back at us in the 80’s and wonder, what were we thinking?
Sueann: Okay then, a sneak attack is acceptable. Don’t want you traveling to the dark side. I’m actually eating almonds as I type this. Does that count?
Cath: Can’t talk. Skiing.
Ó Anita Garner 2009