When I hear the word “routine,” I feel dead inside. I am not a creature of habit; at least that’s what I tell myself. So even though the root of the word is “route” – which could suggest travel, paths, wanderings – all I see and think of is “rut.”
What moves me instead is the idea of rituals. Ritual is rich – with meaning, with intentionality with ceremony. I know I feel the difference when I consciously choose to perform a simple daily activity with awareness.
mmm . . .
During the pandemic, I went back to drinking coffee again, after a long break. I recently bought an origami coffee dripper because I find it beautiful to look at and to use. Instead of walking to my favorite cafe most days, I now buy their beans and make coffee at home. Grinding the beans, inhaling deeply because there is nothing like the smell of freshly ground coffee, pouring hot water, listening to it drip into an old and cherished mug, heating and frothing my oat milk, sitting on my sofa, sipping, and listening to early morning birdsong – all of this goes into my new ritual. It’s a simple thing, but i’m finding that it has brought changes beyond those 15 minutes in the morning. Especially when I wake up. I am mostly not a morning person; often my first thought upon waking is “Oh, shit.” Which is totally fine because mornings can absolutely suck; however, these days, I seem to be a little less cranky and find that my thoughts turn to my coffee-making ritual instead. It’s more than just a caffeine addiction – i’m anticipating the aroma, the taste, and the care I’m taking to start my day in a peaceful and intentional way.
My grandson and I have our own rituals, too, when I babysit. So many, and one of my favorites is at bedtime – a few rounds of Would You Rather? and then telling each other stories. This past Friday, I started a story about a little boy named L. who was going to pick 5 things to do once the pandemic is over. I passed the mic because I wanted to hear his ideas. It started silly because most of our stores are, and then he started listing some amazing things, like people being kind to each other, and taking care of each other, and being happy and peaceful. And what I loved is that at the end, he said, “I want everyone to be happy. And sad is ok, too, because it gets the tears out.” Damn. Would anyone like a 7 year old coach?
Do you have any rituals? I would love to hear about them. Or even about your routines, if that’s how you roll. 🙂