Monday, April 18, 2016

The Sacred in the Mundane...

Any of you who know me in real life probably know I'm a creature of habit.  (Although my writing habits here would suggest otherwise, I'm sure.)  I often order the same thing every time from a restaurant.  I have the same morning routine as I did ten years ago.  And changes of plans?  Oooh.  Count me out.  In fact, you can keep your change altogether.

Some people might think that sounds like a boring life.  They would be wrong, but we'll allow them their wrong opinion for the sake of argument.  It's not that I fear doing things differently, or that I think I have the perfect routine and nothing can be improved upon.  No, no.  I just really like a good ritual.  I guess you could call me a creature of ritual, although that makes me sound like some demon conjured up with blood sacrifice and made to run amok til a plucky band of teenagers and that one old guy everyone thought was crazy but it turns out he was right come along to save the day.  A demon I am not.  At least not that I'm aware.

Breakfast is a ritual.  I open the blinds in the living room and kitchen.  I have my coffee.  I have a muffin or a donut or seven chocolate chip cookies or a piece of cake or pizza from the night before or whatever.  I stand in the morning light (or haze, depending on how Illinois is feeling at that particular minute) and savor the dread that comes from a to-do list you know you won't get to.  I decide what I absolutely will do that day and what I absolutely won't do.  I finish my coffee.  I take a shower.

And that's just the start of my day.  I have ritual moments all throughout.  Showering.  Organizing my bag before I leave for work.  Even my work day is one long routine made up of ritual moments.  Counting drawers.  Cleaning the roller grill.  Emptying the outside trash cans.  Cursing out customers in my head for stuffing two pizza boxes in the trash can hole sideways so they clog the opening of a perfectly empty trash can and make it impossible for anyone to use it.  Cooking pizza.  Stocking the cooler.

And as much as I rail and repeat, I love it.  Now if I could just learn to notice when I'm doing it and try to focus on the joy of that, I'm sure my days would get better.  Baby steps, people.  Baby steps.


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