Despite my rebellious nature, I’ve become a slave to routine. Where my young, healthy body once took life as it happened, I now must deliberately prepare myself for whatever a day may bring. This takes me considerably longer now than ever before, even longer than when I had my four young boys in tow.
But these days, with the aging process grinding away on my physical self, that routine somehow became unforgiving and unappreciative of my mental self. One skip results in an almost immediate stumble, frustration and sometimes bruises mysteriously appear.
The new routine is actually predictable:
1. Wake up – This could take some time.
1.1. Take a thorough inventory of every vertebra, gently wake them and the numb arms.
1.2. Be sure my brain is also awake enough to rise without injuring myself or others while getting to the bathroom and then the kitchen. Prayer typically comes into play here.
Note: The waking experience can be intimidating (embarrassing when involving witnesses), frightening and occasionally surprising enough to make me occasionally wonder if I slept through the Rapture. Am I actually in heaven. Prayer while in bathroom usually works well for me. Dispel shame and guilt: Omniscient. Omnipresent.
2. Remove any carcasses from kitchen counter.
2.1. Wash and sanitize kitchen counter.
Note: We live in an older rental that is astoundingly void of a sill wall that would entirely enclose the kitchen from the outdoors. During the hot summer months, creepy crawlers trafficked in, up the wall behind the cabinets, through the gap from the missing section of back splash tiles (refer to the 2015 New Year, New Life story), and across the counters. Sometimes bugs (and even slugs – yeah, eewe) survive the insecticide for moments. Often they die on the counters. It’s all good: we’re now aware of their existence whether we see them or not – and sanitize.
3. Water and coffee
3.1. Slamming eight ounces of water before coffee seems cruel, but empirically it’s a good practice.
3.2. Immediate availability of fresh, hot coffee is largely contingent upon who in the household has already been in the kitchen, and if that someone was coming or going. This can be complicated.
3.3. We like Krups when we can afford K cups.
3.3.1. Refillable K cups require forethought and many more motions. Just saying.
4. Bathroom time. Grooming can go on for a couple of hours.
4.1. Again, prayer time and perhaps some reading.
5. Fuel – The most forgiving point, interchangeable with items 4 – 4.1. Rather than burn muscle on my power walk, I must force down food and supplements (one won’t stay down without the other).
5.1. Disregard that thought about forgiving. Do not forget fuel. (refer to Um, I’m Out of Gas – Again story (c) 1995).
6. Stretching – Pulling a hamstring, bursitis, tendinitis and joint pain taught me not to minimize the importance of stretching or give into temptations to “stretch as I go”.
6.1. There may be better ways to meet the neighbors than hollering, “Call 9-1-1!” from the ground.
7. Sun block – Something I didn’t take seriously as a youth. Melanoma will change that.
7.1. This is Texas and by now the searing sun will be up over the trees.
8. Lace up, walk toward door.
8.1. Walk through the door.
8.2. You turned off the lights. If you left the coffee pot, you need another one anyway.
8.3. Just walk away.
9. This just in. Incorporate reminding Roan to walk also.
9.1. Remind or otherwise check Roan each step of the way.
9.1.1. Roan continues to resist all elder sibling influences as well as she always has.
9.1.2. Now that Roan is also experiencing the same gift from the gene pool and the accompanying pain and physical therapy, gilt will get the best of me if I don’t push or pull at her on my way out the door – a good two hours later.
10. Shower, deodorant, lotion and then get to work.
10.1. Since I work at home, clothes are optional.
All of this reaffirms my philosophy: Relax and enjoy the ride, no one gets out alive.
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.”
2 Corinthians 4:16 (NKJV)
Go Readers. Redefine life along the way.