routine and decay

August 25, 2008 Candace Morris 13 Comments

Cheer-io fellow Monday-sufferers,

oh isn't Monday just a double-edged sword? I hate going back to work with the daunting prospect of five days ahead of my next Saturday (esp when that Saturday will bring Neko Case LIVE to my ears), but I also have a lot of momentum and plenty to do, usually (i.e. i looked at the clock and suddenly two hours had passed).

i am such a night owl! i cannot bring myself to fall asleep before midnight, though i often start my nightly ritual around 10:30 pm. Nightly ritual includes the following (and almost always in this order (i swear, i am not a freak, just highly structured - and i don't freak out if this routine can't happen - except for the starred elements, these are necessary for sleep)):
  • Take Vitamins (multi/fish oil/lysine)
  • Hot (scalding) bath with book or magazine (30 min)
  • Lotion body
  • PJs*
  • Remove Eye Makeup
  • Wash Face*
  • Tone face
  • Brush teeth*
  • Night face cream, night eye cream*
  • Wander into bedroom
  • Fold bed down (husband already usually fast asleep - he works at 4am)
  • Heavy cream for hands and feet
  • Chap stick* (burt's bees all natural, thank you very much)
  • Prop up pillows
  • Journal and/or read*

Yes, so last night when I finally put down my book, it was close to 1am. I love the night time, my mind comes alive with ideas and inspiration. I find the world quite over-stimulating in general; therefore, when it finally goes to sleep, I feel I can now find the peace and quiet to sit still, ease out of the day's restlessness, and listen to my insides. It's a terribly necessary, soulful part of my day.

For instance, last night's journal entry gave me some necessary mental goals for this week about shopping, relationships, eating, and nurturing myself through a hyper-sensitive phase...if I had omitted that from last night, I think today I would feel even heavier...and dearies, Monday is already


I know plenty of people that do not need routine or ritual (hubby being numero uno (when I am out of town and I call at 4pm and he is just then making lunch, I experience a not-so-slight shock to my system)) - and I am unabashed in my perplexion of this - excusing it to the omnipresent mantra "to each their own." I think my mother was very structured (kids need this) and so I piggy-backed those needs of hers onto my day - consequently, she is also highly-organized, a capable leader, a night-owl, an introvert, a late riser, and a fabulously good house-cleaner (all of which I am proud to say are qualities I share).

I truly believe that my structured life acts as a means for me to alleviate the constant pressings of worry on my life. If I make sure to add something to my routine, I don't have to fret about remembering to do it. I won't wake up in 30 years with saggy lines on my face because I didn't apply my night cream, darn it! I very well may wake up with saggy lines anyway, but it won't be because I was inattentive or a poor steward of this body. (I live in rather high-expectations of myself...and for the most part do find that I can meet those expectations. Except for when it all comes crashing down on what Joel likes to term Friday Night Meltdowns. I will spare you the messy details, but how vexatious indeed!).

Please feel ye not judged, I simply wish to present this thought: If people would experiment more with the patterns of their day - I think they would find two things.:

1) Structure/routine/planning is one of the most useful combatants to idle depression and
2) Routine cannot cure the soul's ailments for life's quest for meaning (number 2 being my current didactic speech to self).

I think the next thing to add is to structure-in/routine-in some exercise - because I am constantly anxious about how little I use my body and how irresponsible of me it is - and how if I just DID it, I would certainly love it more. Also, it would surely help the anxiety I cannot fucking shake these last months AND assist my peace of mind as I seek to reestablish a healthy weight-loss regimen.

I have of late been overwhelmed by the talent of others - of Miss Plath's Journals, of McCullers, Mr. Steinbeck of understanding that they:

a) make writing look MUCH too easy
b) are more talented than I can ever wish to be

both of which i find discouraging, yet despite these discouragements they:

a) inspire me to write
b) are simply humans "telling men's hearts of the hearts of men centuries dead" (Shapiro)

and that's all i am. a human female. .

a human lady comprised of bones, blood, tissue, nerves, and soul. a human who will someday not feel the pen in her hand or touch joel's smooth face or breathe the forest air or eat gobi gosh or be anxious about how to be wise with money, but the very hand i use to deftly type these nonsensical words will decay...yet these words never will.

you know, for having no living tissue, words sure are stalwart sons of bitches. My words very may will be the only me that lives on, especially if I remain childless (are children just another vain attempt at man's desire to be immortal?) If this is the sad state of decay, perhaps I should write more. It may be my only lineage.

Befuddled and Pensive,

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