Routine is Important: Just ask my Mother

As we age, we’re told to mix up our routine. Keep our brain challenged and break out of our day-to-day pattern. It’s healthy for us, or so we’re told.

And to some degree, I think there’s some merit to the medical studies that espouse such recommendations, but I think there’s also something to be said for sticking to a routine.

Routine is important. Just ask my mother. Disturb her before she has her first cup of coffee and visits the loo in the morning and she’s not a happy camper. God forbid, if you should bother her before her favorite television show, “The Price is Right”, is over. Not a pleasant experience to have with her.

Every morning, my cat and I dance. She whines. I feed her. She jumps up on my desk, starts chewing on my paper work and walking across my computer key board. Then she wants to go outside. Of course, she can’t simply walk out when I open my patio door. She has to walk around the perimeter of the living room first, then around the overstuffed lazy boy rocker and finally she’s ready to exit. I have to patiently wait while she does this little two-step of hers, and then I can close the door and go back to whatever I was doing.

There are days that I’d like to choke the little twit as she slowly prances by me and looks up as if to say, “Humans are so clueless.”

Maybe Boo’s trying to teach me patience, or maybe this little tango is something that keeps her safe and she depends on it. I don’t know. I’m no cat whisperer, and I certainly haven’t a clue as to what makes a cat tick.

I do know, though, there are days in my life when everything is crazy and life is one crisis after another. Having a routine and sticking to it keeps me secure: Taking daily walks. Going to exercise class on Wednesdays. Seeing my yoga buddies on Fridays. Reading a good book and falling asleep on a rainy afternoon with our other cat, Molly, spread-eagle on my belly. All routines I relish and enjoy.

And when the sump pump breaks, the IRS notifies me that I owe them $5,500, the inspector says my house has termites and my doctor tells me that I have pneumonia; I remember to get up, wash my face, put on a little lipstick and face the day, ‘cuz that’s what Mom taught me to do.

I’m not so much into the lipstick, like my Mom, but I definitely understand and appreciate the need for a consistent schedule to keep me going. There are days when I need the safety and comfort of knowing that I have certain things planned. So, when life comes along and messes with those plans, I still have the comfort of knowing that my daily regimen is still intact and it can be restarted with the dawning of a new day.

I keenly remembered how my special needs kids depended on a routine. They vociferously complained about it on a regular basis, but change it on them once in a blue moon, and they let you know they weren’t pleased. For many of them, their day to day home life was chaotic and their only source of reliability and sanity was my classroom and the safety of its expectations and schedule.

As I slowly age, I realize that I need to keep my mind challenged and continue to learn new skills and stretch my imagination, but I also realize that there are days that I need to feel stable and safe and having some structure and routine in my life is ok and actually beneficial to me in a number of ways, both physically and emotionally. So, I give myself permission to throw caution to the wind, and on those days I need to have a miniature snicker’s bar after I eat lunch, I go for it and sometimes even have two!

In the meantime, I need to feed Boo Boo, again, and wait at the patio door while she sashays around the border of our living room furniture. Have a great week, People, and I’ll catch ya the next time, looking at life from my shoes!

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Good Morning, Peoples!

Good morning, Peoples!

So, I’m standing here at the crack of dawn with my hair looking like Lady Gaga herself, yawning with morning breath from last night’s garlic chicken, freezing my ample-sized butt off, and asking myself,

“What the heck are you doing outta bed, for Chriminy Sakes?”

“It’s dark, it’s cold, and you’re retired! Go back to your warm, comfy bed, Woman! And let the day start without you! Last night’s dishes will wait, ya know? It’s not like you’ve gotta be anyplace this morning, for Pete’s sakes!”

But no, not me!

I gotta get up with the birds and my howling Siamese, and start washing last night’s dishes!

So, I’m standing at the sink, intently scrubbing the caked-on garlic goop outta the pan with the water running, telling Boo to shut da hell up and go eat her food that I just put together (Did I tell you, People, that my cat Boo, has something called “malabsorption syndrome” and needs a specially prepared menu every day? No? Not yet? Hm…well, that’s a story for another day. Anyway, forgive me. I digress.)

I’m washing up some dishes and trying (not too successfully, mind you!) to ignore Boo’s caterwauling when I hear the Princess mumbling something or other while she’s brushing her teeth with her electric toothbrush.

Being hearing impaired and all (and going deaf with an obnoxious, howling cat), I don’t hear her. So, I just continue washing the dishes.

Then all of a sudden, her tiny Princess head shoots out from the bathroom door and yells,

“Lucie! For God’s sakes! Will you answer me?! I can’t stand it when you ignore me like that, ya know? Drives me nuts! Could you PAH-LEEZE listen to me once in awhile?!!!!”

Now for those of you in relationships (either past or present), you know that no matter how I answer that question, I’m gonna lose.

So I’m thinkin’ to myself, “Ya know, I could be wrong, but I think I’m in one of those lose/lose scenarios here.”

I definitely feel like drowning Boo right now, and I think before I get to the point where I wanna drown the Princess, too, I’d better just “take one for the team,” agree with her politely (and ever so subserviently), apologize, and go back to bed.

So, I take a deep, cleansing breath (one that even Miss Betsy of my gentle yoga class would be proud of!), glance at her over my Ben Franklin eye specs and calmly say, “You know, Sweetie ─ you’re right! You’re definitely right. I need to listen to you more often. I’m sorry.”

The humble apology, however, does nothing but add fuel to her displeasure with me, and she irritably responds,

“Ya know, Lucie,” she says between clenched teeth, “I hate it when you’re sarcastic! I really hate it! It’s sooo not becoming, ya know?”

Before I can even so much as say one word in response, she scoots back into the bathroom and continues brushing her teeth and completing her morning cleaning ritual.

By this time, Boo has discovered that today’s menu offering is actually palatable and has hungrily started to chow down, when Molly (cat #2) comes meowing out of my bedroom for her specially prepared diet and medications (Did I tell you, people, that Molly has urinary problems and also needs special foods and medications? No? Not yet? Hm…guess that’s also a story for another day, eh??)

So, I start to meticulously prepare Molly’s special menu. (Ask me someday to tell you how I once took one of Molly’s drugs and almost gave Molly MY drug!!! I scratched myself raw for most of the day and swore I saw fleas hopping around on my arms! But forgive me; once again, I digress!). I then notice that the Princess has finished her morning grooming rituals and is heading out the door on her way to work, when she suddenly stops and starts kissing and lavishing Boo (who has now coyly perched herself on the arm of the couch) with all kinds of lovin’ and hugs.

After a few minutes of smothering Boo with an abundance of lovin’, she inadvertently catches a glimpse of me and suddenly realizes: Oh, that’s right. I have a partner. Maybe I’ll acknowledge her before I go to work, too!

“So,” she queries, “What’s on your busy agenda for today, Hun?”

She’s been asking me this question every day since I retired. I don’t know why, but I rarely answer her with a genuine response. Guess it’s one of those endearing (or not so endearing!) games that couples play with each other when they’ve been a couple for so many years!

Makes me absolutely batty! But whatever….

“Oh nothing,” I sarcastically respond with a grin on my face, “I think I’ll just lounge with the termites today and have an Orange Julius. Have a good day, Sweetie!”

I don’t know, People! I’m thinkin’ a good sense of humor is something worth keeping in my life these days!

What do you think?

Have a great day! I know I will ─ sipping Orange Julius’s and hangin’ with my termite buddies!!!!

 

Until next week’s adventure: laugh often and enthusiastically! Life’s too precious not to!