Studies show that babies and young children thrive when they have daily routines. Putting a baby to bed with a nighttime routine like a bath, a massage and a bedtime story, for example, actually helps them sleep better, according to my friends at Johnson’s Baby.
I have just realized it is the same with me.
Now that I don’t have the routine of going to an office everyday, I cling to the routines I do have. I love when I can start my day with my morning tea (Twining’s decaf green), my smoothie, (blueberry with Fage Greek yogurt), my walk, my stretches, my shower, and then sit down to my computer.
Even within that routine, are my mini routines–checking the weather on my Weather Channel app while I climb back in bed and sip my tea, obsessively noting the weather in Park City, Santa Barbara, San Francisco, New York, Frankfurt, Ho Chi Minh City, Omaha, Spokane, Los Altos, San Francisco, Carmel, Geneva, and occasionally, when I am feeling wild and crazy, Bailey Island, Maine.
I am keenly aware that this is lunacy. I mean, people who have nothing to talk about besides the weather have nothing to talk about. Why do I care about the weather in any of these places? And why do I need to check the times of the sunrise and sunset in each of them?? And why do I feel so out of sorts when I don’t?
My routines have taken on lives of their own.
One comforting thought is that Jack London, one of the great American writers, took a job at a laundry which required him to perform the same routines over and over, so that he could free his mind for creative pursuits. He would think about his characters and story lines while stirring boiling vats of dirty sheets, then go home and write until he fell asleep, and get up the next morning and do it again. If The Call of the Wild and The Sea Wolf were products of his routines, maybe there is hope for mine.
Maybe it is time to start my novel–the one that lets me to create thinly disguised characters out of all of the people in my life who have done me wrong, and expose them as the villains that they are? You know, sort of, The Devil Wore Prada meets The Social Network?
Yes, maybe the time has come. A few more smoothies and a few more morning walks, and revenge will be mine.