Just your routine blog post

If I know you (and I think I do), I bet you shower the same way every morning: wash there, wash there, missed a spot there, wash there, especially there. And when you get out of the shower, you dry yourself in the exact same order: face, head, front, legs, there, especially there, your back, then you wrap the towel around you and pretend you’re a Scottish warrior or on your way to a fancy cotillion. Or something like that.

This, but in a towel.

This, but in a towel.

Now that we’re all picturing each other naked, let’s talk about routines. Routines are those aspects of our lives that we do out of habit, often without thinking, like grooming or voting Liberal.

The word “routine” comes from the Latin “rotini,” which means “to eat pasta every single Saturday.” The word “routine” is also related to “route,” “rote” and “rut” but not “poutine,” which should never be a part of your regular diet.

Over time, “routine” has come to imply dullness and predictability. The self-help books warn, for instance, that one’s relationship is in decline when the sex becomes routine, yet any longstanding couple would argue that routine sex is better than no sex at all and far easier on the hips.

Routines are comforting. How often after a tragedy do we hear people say that they just want to get back to the routine? Here in Quebec, we not long ago went through a disaster that, after the terrible shock and grieving, had people longing to get their lives back to normal. I’m talking, of course, about the election of Pauline Marois.

We adopt routines because they work or because we can do them without overtaxing our busy brains. For example, each evening when I get the coffeemaker ready for the next morning, I know by heart exactly how long to run the water to fill the carafe. This frees up my brain to think about other things, like how come I always end up making the coffee?

But I’m grateful for that coffee in the morning because there’s no better time for routine than when you are only half awake and trying to get the family out the door. Last year, we had two children living at home, one going to high school, the other to elementary school. The morning routine went something like:

  • Wake at 7:00 a.m.
  • Mmmm, coffee.
  • “Abby, time to get moving. James, let’s go.”
  • More coffee.
  • Make Abby’s lunch.
  • Get Abby’s breakfast.
  • “James! It’s quarter after! Come on!”
  • Forget where I was with Abby’s breakfast and lunch.
  • Still more coffee.
  • James eats breakfast.
  • Deb makes James’s lunch.
  • Realize we coddle our kids.
  • I shower.
  • “THEY WILL NEVER TAKE OUR FREEDOM!”
  • James showers.
  • Tell Abby she can’t shower because her idea of a quick shower is 15 minutes while she stands there and sings, leaving us to wonder if she’s even cleaning herself at all.
  • Realize that she probably could have showered in the time it took to argue about it.
  • But probably not.
  • Get dressed.
  • Deb showers.
  • Have Abby drink her prescribed nutritional supplement, which we call her “milk” but is more often known as “Abbydrinkyourmilk Abbydrinkyourmilk.”
  • Brush teeth.
  • Out the door at 8 a.m.

This year, though, James is off to Cegep, with class times varying day to day, so do I wake him up? Is he taking the car? Do we make him a lunch that he’s not going to eat anyway? Abby’s at Stanstead College and some days she has morning assembly, some not, and is her uniform here or did she leave it at school? And she’s switched to Abbydrinkyourcooler, and did she drink it yet, and what about lunch – taking it or at school? And the coffeemaker is new, and I can’t get the ratios right to make decent coffee, and it didn’t go off this morning, and my day is ruined, and we’re late, we’re late, WE’RE LATE!

Our after-school and evening routines are likewise in flux, a word we take from the Greeks, who were a far less organized than the Latins.

As you can gather, I’m a fan of routine (and sporrans!). However, I think it’s important to be conscious of our routines, maybe shake them up from time to time. Wash there first, for example, or invite someone in to wash there for you, although be warned that if you do this, you’ll likely be late for work.

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About rossmurray1

I'm Canadian so I pronounce it "Aboot." No, I don't! I don't know any Canadian who says "aboot." Damnable lies! But I do know this Canadian is all about humour (with a U) and satire. Come by. I don't bite, or as we Canadians say, "beet."
This entry was posted in Family - whadya gonna do? and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

47 Responses to Just your routine blog post

  1. Routine, a dear friend of mine, too. 🙂 Great post! My kids are 11 and 9. I makes me sad to think about high school and college, but I know it’s coming.

  2. El Guapo says:

    Is james old enough to take care of his own lunch? 3 days of forgetting to make it and he’ll pobably make it an ironclad part of his routine…

  3. The Cutter says:

    You don’t have ME figured out. You know why? Because I shower at night BEFORE I go to bed!

  4. pinklightsabre says:

    Routine saves disk space. Or do you say disc space? Really enjoyed this. It’s a tight, cable-knit sweater. Check this off the box for your mid-week post deadline. Routine.

  5. I shake it up by not washing everyday.

  6. You are total softies making lunch for your kids! I am the same w/ morning routine. This morning, Brian was in the bathroom when it was my turn to shower and I just stood there, completely unable to do anything but wait for him to get out. Whole morning: thrown off! Ruined! Just kidding, I’ll survive. Great post, as always!

  7. franhunne4u says:

    thank you, I just needed the laughs I got from this post

  8. ksbeth says:

    could be worth it though )

  9. Mooselicker says:

    The word routine always makes me think of Patrick Bateman from American Psycho. The word poutine always makes me think someone is saying protein wrong.

  10. rarasaur says:

    My husband is one of those just-playing-in-the-water showerers. I’m a 1 of 6 kids, from a household that never had less than 20 people living in it– so I can scrub down military style in 5 minutes. When we first moved in together, he was in there for over 20 minutes and I actually thought he might have died in the shower so I put my ear to the door (with a phone in my hand to call 911 because I’m paranoid like that, and it seemed reasonable at at the time) . I heard him singing and splashing, and was completely mystified. I forgot where I was going with this because my brain has been rotted from hours spent babysitting, but I think the point is– I love routine, and I salute you for living that morning everyday without going nuts. 😀

    • rossmurray1 says:

      I should maybe tag these types of posts as a trigger for people with shower-related issues. 🙂 I bet your husband was just thinking in there. That’s where I do some of my best brainstorming.

  11. cat9984 says:

    what is poutine? i think i recognize french fries.

  12. Nic says:

    “THEY WILL NEVER TAKE OUR FREEDOM!” LOL, loved that moment! This post probably shouldn’t have resonated with me as much as it did, but it DID. As the youngest Connecticut commuter known to man (or at least known to my office), I’m often ridiculed for how unwilling I am to veer from my comfort zone. (“Stay in the city and MISS the 5:52 train back to the suburbs? NEVER” is my typical response to any and all invitations to post-work events.) Totally gonna step outside of my zone and invite someone into the shower soon!

  13. Ned's Blog says:

    All four of our kids have reached the age where they want to shower in the morning. That means my wife is in by 5:30, followed every 15 minutes by one of our four kids. That leave me getting into the shower at 7ish, which is about the time someone flushes moments before we run out of hot water.

  14. Lily says:

    I somehow unfollowed you again on accident. Yikes.
    You obvs don’t know me very well. I never shower in the morning. Only at night. And I dry my legs first. Because I’m weird.
    Loving the Braveheart references. Too true. Girls can’t wear the fun kilt towel. Well, I mean…we could. BUT there would be stares.
    I like your morning routine. It seems hectic, yet there’s a good flow.

    • rossmurray1 says:

      It gets the job done, much like William Wallace.

      The unfollow button is one of the few of life’s buttons that doesn’t ask, “Are you sure y of want to unfollow?”

  15. benzeknees says:

    As you get older, the danger with routines can be – did I stop for the stop sign after you’ve already arrived at work? When you do everything so much by rote you’re never sure, haha!

  16. Kylie says:

    You don’t know me at all!!!!! I would give you my firstborn child if that meant I could take a shower every morning.
    Literally.

  17. javaj240 says:

    Truthfully, I’m a fan of any strapping lad in a kilt. I don’t care where he’s off to — a cotillion, some light pillaging, sporran shopping — I think you get the picture. Speaking of pictures, thanks for the William of Wallace pic, though I would argue that, regardless of Mel Gibson’s contention, Robert the Bruce freed Scotland. It’s probably safe to say that most folks, given the recent course Mel’s life has taken, apply the “grain of salt” rule to anything he believes!

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