Routines fill my days. Each day I start with a simple morning routine that eases me, not a morning person, into my day. At some point while going through my early morning routine I begin making lists. Mostly written, but sometimes just mental. I think about what I want to get to that day. At some point there is the intrusion of the reality of what I have to do–and what other calls on my time already exist. Routines lead ahead from there.
I read Better than Before by Gretchen Rubin last year (2015) and it was revealing to me on a couple of levels. First, it confirmed that routines were what helped me get so much done. That the automation of routine allows my mind the freedom to think about other things, and sets me a path through my days, weeks, and months. I also found that her four tendencies helped me see how I react to each and every thing in my life. It is easy and fun–take the quiz. I am a Rebel. I resist almost everything–even things that I want to do–and that resistance gets in my way. Routines help me bypass the resistance by removing the need to have any internal conversation. I just observe my routines and dishes get done, I exercise, clothes and other things get put away, laundry, shopping, ironing, all get done without any (real) resistance. But years of training and adapting have also made me something of an obliger (people pleaser!), as well as a questioner (why?). Routines make my life so much easier! I am constantly juggling my need to question and resist everything, and my desire to make everyone else comfortable and happy.
I added daily drawing into my routines beginning February 1. To date, I have done some sort of drawing nearly every day since. I was able to find time in my evening routine, and began using the drawing time as a transition between my work day and my personal evening time. I know that I’m doing a little more juggling because of adding drawing to my routines, but I think it is worth it. I am enjoying exploring techniques, color, and tools.
When I get out of my usual routines I make different progress. I always get things done, but when traveling I tend not to watch TV and knit. I fill my evenings with other things and have different goals. Yesterday I was glad to get back to the couch and get back to my usual knitting routine, which always spells progress. We got the book for an exhibit that we truly enjoyed at the British Tate when we visited in the fall. Lots I want to re-explore about this artist who I had never heard of before.