Trivia Teaser

Which is nearest in meaning to the word Tedium?

Average
Medium
Middling
Boredom

Routines & Rituals

28
Nov
2012
 

By Jessie

This morning I arrived at my desk the obligatory 3.5 minutes late, switched on my computer, made a cup of tea in my usual mug (always the same brand, white no sugar) opened my diary and – like I do every working day, flipped my little desk calendar over to a new page.  The calendar features inspirational quotes and today’s was by someone called Mike Murdock:

“The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine”.


Well that made me pause. What kind of desolate destiny awaits a person who wastes time flipping through a paper calendar every morning just to read the quotes even though everything she needs to know and much, much more is contained on her computer which is synced to her iPhone and a thousand other gadgets all feeding off a virtual cloud of data that hovers in the… (um, Sky? Atmosphere? Third dimension?) 

A bad one that’s what, and it got me thinking about all the things I do out of habit, every single day. And while grim visions of building underground bunkers filled with 30 feral cats filled my mind, I decided that what I needed was a little less routine, and a little more ritual (if only to tip my hat to Prufrock).

To me, the word ‘routine’ is synonymous with robotic drudgery, and applies to all the things I need to do regularly but engage in either unconsciously, or approach with a slight feeling of dread. Exercising, grocery shopping, cleaning the house, managing my overfilled email inbox, paying bills, and ultimately, my morning routine all fall into this category. I attend to them on autopilot – without questioning if they are even still useful and/or relevant (see, desk calendar).

But there are other things I do just as frequently, but which I look forward to with great joy. These tasks are carried out with all the reverence and ceremony of a ritual (cue personal connotations: passionate devotion, intense attention to detail, deep satisfaction). Baking cakes for afternoon tea, feeding the chooks, reading my son a bedtime story, pottering around the garden, having a long bath, pouring wine and plating cheese after a long day, you get the picture.

The question is – how do I extract the same pleasure from that which I find tedious? The Buddhists might counsel seeking mindfulness, a calm awareness of all moments of life, and the ability to live in the present. Writer Eckhart Tolle advises “Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it”. Someone even wiser once said: “If it’s not fun, you’re not doing it right”.

Ultimately, it’s all up to me. To find happiness in the humdrum I need to awaken my mind from soul-sucking apathy. For starters, I’m going to treat myself to a beautiful teapot and turn my morning caffeine fix into a ceremony of contemplation. I’m going to switch supermarkets every now and then and not buy the same old products. I’ll change my exercise routine to include more walking outdoors, which I like. And next year I’m NOT going to order a new desk calendar…   

What kinds of routines and rituals shape your days?

Christmas Comes to YouPlay
Christmas comes to YouPlay

Oh yes YouPlayers, even though I’m still at the sticking my fingers in my ears and singing ‘lalalala’ stage of denial whenever I walk into Woollies and see the bounteous mince pie displays, there’s no escaping the fact that the season of jolliness is upon us for another year.

Which means that the YouPlay Christmas Celebrations are soon to begin! Stay tuned for an update veeerrrry shortly with all the details – as usual there’ll be some great prizes up for grabs. (And yes, I can announce that everyone’s favourite, the Holiday Hunt will be returning – woo hoo!)

Jessie x

26 Responses to

Routines & Rituals

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storm2005 said:
November 28, 2012 at 4:45 PM

jessie, i used to just make a cuppa every morning, then my cousin gave me a beautiful teapot and cup and saucer, now it the best part of my morning to sit and look out over the lake with my tea on a small tray and really enjoy the peace. sets me up for the day.

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nan_j said:
November 28, 2012 at 7:37 PM

... and I love the that you wind down with a glass of wine and some cheese at the end of a busy day ... bliss

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Tannita said:
November 28, 2012 at 9:13 PM

Merry Meet, Rituals are important, , ,and one of mine is my morning prayers, that I say when outside and facing the cows and ducks, the mountains that surround my valley, , mother nature, , , if I do not say my morning prayers, , the day is not right, , not until I say them, , then all is right again, , Blessed Be,

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said:
November 29, 2012 at 10:20 AM

have to have my coffee of a morning ..thanks jess good reading

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postie57 said:
November 29, 2012 at 1:01 PM

now that I'm retired the routines are gone except like Noonee, I want my morning coffee...and Jessie you could pamper yourself with a china cup and saucer, the tea tastes better and stays hotter...then every so often you could put your favorite fragrant blossom in a vase and enjoy it all day. (course then you might spend all day smelling "the roses") lol

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kragzy said:
November 29, 2012 at 4:30 PM

I like spontaneity, so long as it's well planned.

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November 29, 2012 at 4:51 PM

must have a coffee ist thing in am . or im like a bear with a sore head, . not vey nice i do admitt

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November 29, 2012 at 5:43 PM

Unfortunately, one of my routines is automatically proofreading. And I am sure that Buddhists would much rather "counsel", as "council"s tend to be unrestful ;-)>

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pdiaco said:
November 29, 2012 at 7:35 PM

Cyclophilia is the repeating of something that we enjoy repeating. Cyclism is the philosophy that propounds that repetition is fundamental to the way everything in nature works. That's my two 'coins' worth for today.

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Xrosie said:
November 30, 2012 at 7:48 AM

As you said "woo hoo". As my family is all a great distance away, You play is my christmas build up. My regular thingss in the morning let the animals out, Email and YouPlay

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November 30, 2012 at 11:48 AM

My little routine is at night before bed. Every night I feed, put his coat on if it's cold, take him out, and put my dog to bed. He knows the routine as well as I do! And, as small as it may seem, we both love it!

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said:
November 30, 2012 at 1:46 PM

Every morning I wake up at 5am. If, by some miracle I sleep in, the cat starts to meow and prowl around my bed asking for her breakfast. (When she was a kitten she used to pat my nose at 5am. Cute. Not cute any longer). I've tried not feeding her in the morning. Doesn't make any difference. Regardless, she just wants me 'up and at em' at 5am. Well, at least the dog enjoys her morning walks on the beach.

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Muffy said:
December 01, 2012 at 5:20 PM

My favorite part of the day is the "quail hour." I feed the birds every evening (or afternoon, depending of the sunlight); my husband does the morning shift. Once the general feeding is done, I wait, keeping watch on the daylight and the cactus at the far corner of my yard. When it's almost twilight or if I see the Gambel's quails begin to congregate at the cactus -- whichever comes first -- I replenish the seeds in the front yard. In just a bit the quails begin to arrive. I can see them through my open door as I sit on my sofa. The quails have their ritual, too; always following the same path to the food. And always in the same order: 3 large males, the 2 more males with 1 or 2 females, finally all others in pairs or in a long, scraggly line. Usually we have 10-12 quail each day, but at least once each week there is a day when 18-20 come to feed. This time of year, we get a higher ratio of males to females, on average 3 or 4 to 1.

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gracie10 said:
December 02, 2012 at 6:23 PM

martin_1729 I know where you are coming from with automatic proofreading. I worked in a job for many years where I did edit, proof read and format course materials, and also marked student assignments. So I also proofread everything - even the newspaper!

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said:
December 02, 2012 at 6:45 PM

Is everyone else counting Gracie's grammatical and punctuation errors?

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said:
December 03, 2012 at 7:51 AM

Sorry Gracie, but if you're going to criticise other people's typos you should, at least, be perfect yourself. My old mum used to say, 'Well, that's the pot calling the kettle black!'

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said:
December 03, 2012 at 8:03 AM

'Ultimately, it’s all up to me. To find happiness in the humdrum I need to awaken my mind from soul-sucking apathy.' - My quote for the day! Thanks, Jessie.

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said:
December 03, 2012 at 11:25 AM

Argh - typo fixed! Sadly, this is what can happen in a small team when you have to edit your own work. I completely relate to the proofreading pedantry - and I'm grateful to have any errors pointed out!

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gracie10 said:
December 03, 2012 at 1:33 PM

Hi Jessie, it is easy to overlook typo's etc. A lot of the work I used to proofread was written 'burning the midnight oil' and spell checked using software. It did result in some amusing typos. I try not to be pedantic about proofreading - its just an unfortunate habit that's hard to break. Books and journal articles are actually proofread several times over, by a number of people as it is so easy to overlook errors. I had a couple of articles published and believe me, there were plenty of corrections to be made. For starters, I had used English spelling, and the journal I published to is based in the US - whoops! I had to edit the entire article and change the spelling to US conventions.

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nan_j said:
December 03, 2012 at 5:03 PM

what typo Jessie? I didn't even notice.

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said:
December 03, 2012 at 6:18 PM

is ok jessie everyone makes mistakes thanks for the good read

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Rotowaro said:
December 03, 2012 at 7:56 PM

I love typos. I especially love how they turn a word, a phrase, a meaning into something unintended. It reflects the imperfection of life. They reflect both the writer and the reader and tells us much more of both than what they may have intended. Wonderful! And before you ask.... yes, I am on my tenth long black on the day.

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gracie10 said:
December 03, 2012 at 8:23 PM

Good on you Rotowaro - my favourites were arises (with the i accidentally omitted). And of course toxicology, where the writer accidentally hit the 's' instead of the 'x' - its probably a science of something ... but who knows what ...

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MaudFitch said:
December 04, 2012 at 12:30 AM

Routine, ritual, habitual, what's in a name? If it's a comfortable part of your life without side-effects, what's wrong with it? The young and the elderly often find repetition to be calming and soothing. Most of our daily grind is made up of replication, both at home and in the workplace. That's why we take those enjoyable little detours like quizzing our brains on YouPlay!

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said:
December 05, 2012 at 7:05 AM

Babies and children thrive on routine. Who has not witnessed the transformation of their little angel into a two-headed monster following a visit away for even a day or two?

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December 05, 2012 at 11:43 AM

I sgree, 'routine,' ritual, 'habit,' whatever it's called, when I sign in to YouPlay I do only certain Trivia Quizzes first, then I'll move on to only certain cross words and finally, some of the Wild Words. Each section can be worked in a different order, but the sections HAVE to be done as stated. Nothing to do with 'superstition,' just 'preference; like drinking or not from a certain cup or using a particular spoon.