Monday, November 6, 2017

Routines, habits, and change--oh my!

After living in the same house for twelve years, prior to moving into my grandparents' home recently, I'm finding that old habits really do die hard.

I am a creature of habit and routine. I like to get up about the same time each morning, make coffee, then before my day gets started on anything else, I write. Writing is the first priority of my day. (no wait, correction, that would be coffee) For the first hour or so of my day, there is no TV, and since I live alone, very little conversation--unless I'm talking to myself of the dog, and that's another story.

That kind of morning ritual, however, is not exactly what I'm talking about. It took a while for me to make the adjustment of not reaching to my left to turn on the kitchen light in the morning, but to reach to the right. In my old place, I'd let the dog out via the sunroom and leave the sliding glass door open for her to come back in. Here, no sliding glass door and the wind takes the screen door quickly, so no leaving that open. Sophie had to learn to scratch the door to let me know when she wanted back in.



I found myself reaching above the washer to grab detergent that wasn't there. Looking for the hook inside my closet for my robe (no hook). And reaching to my right, rather than left, for the silverware drawer. I didn't realize how small changes in routine like this take a while to recover and reinvent.

But slowly we (Sophie and me) are getting there. When putting things in their places, I tried to recreate, at first, how things were in the old house. Then I decided that sometimes it's good to break old habits and make new ones, so I let that go and put things away where they made sense, and I adjusted. And holy cow, I'm fine!

I love routines. I thrive on them and they don't bore me. I like doing things the same way every day and I get a little twitchy when I'm out of my routine. But quickly I'm settling in to my new (old) house nicely and I'm betting that soon, I'll stop reaching to the left to turn on the kitchen light.

It's amazing how resilient we are and how quickly we can adapt to change. What changes, big or small, have you worked through recently?

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