I’ve spent the first week of 2018 sending out New Year’s letters, reading an engrossing mystery novel, doing laundry, taking down the tree, organizing the tree ornaments and the home decorations into three bins for easy access next Christmas, blogging, eating fruitcake and mandarin oranges, going to lunch with a niece, sleeping-sleeping-sleeping, and in general, enjoying feeling healthier than I have since January 2014. I am gleeful right now because I’m healthy and eager for life.
I enjoy my life more when I have structure in it. Possibly the word routine would be better. I can be completely spontaneous when the phone rings and someone wants to do something. On a daily basis, however, I like routine. That’s because I need to feel that I’m accomplishing something I love to do.
Among the things that give me pleasure are writing, painting watercolors, walking, blogging, talking with someone on the phone, working jigsaw puzzles, doing yoga, branching my dendrites by using a “brain” exercise book, doing T’ai Chi Chih, dancing, playing the keyboard, studying Greek, reading mystery novels, and playing solitaire or doing a Sudoku.
I also like going out with someone to lunch, shopping, or seeing a movie; sleeping/napping; reading historical non-fiction; baking bread; making soup; meditating; decluttering; and looking out the window at the world beyond.
I can’t fit all of that into any one day or even one week. Still, I’m working to build a routine that will enable me to incorporate each of these activities into my life on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
For example: On a weekly basis, I want to write, blog, do yoga, study Greek, and walk.
On a monthly basis, I want to declutter some part of my home or garage for one hour every Saturday, bake bread a couple of times, and go to a movie once or twice.
You see the pattern. I want to do these activities on a somewhat regular basis, knowing that not everything will go as planned because life happens and given the chance to do something else on any given day, I’ll probably do it—health permitting!
I do, however, want, in general, a daily structure, part of which will be writing in my gratitude journal before turning off the light and going to bed each night. I’ve done this for over twenty years. I write about whoever or whatever has brought me happiness and contentment that day.
If I have no structure—no routine—I mostly read, do solitaire, and sleep. Those three activities are enjoyable, but I need interests beyond them. This year I hope to honor that part of myself that wants a more rounded life.
Or course, ill health has taught me that I have little control over what I want to do. That is, I control the way I respond to the changes, uncertainties, and vicissitudes of my life. But I have always believed in dreaming BIG—even about structure and routines!
Does all this make sense to you? Do you need structure or a routine? If so, what kind?
Peace to you as the second week of the new year begins.
The illustration is from Wikipedia.