Monday, October 05, 2009

Rules of the game

I'm a creature of habit. Or more specifically, routines. If I remember correctly my younger years, this has been sort of a gradual thing. I don't remember having rules in my life the way I do now when I was in my twenties, or even my early thirties. I think that somewhere around when I started to realize this single thing was really going to stick they started to kick in.

My old roommate Sonia told me a story about her older sister when we were in our early twenties. Her older sister was the ripe age of thirty at the time, and hadn't yet married. Sonia told me her sister wouldn't marry her current beau because, you know, when you get old you become more set in your ways. Thirty. Dang.

I don't think that my routines are that out of line, but that Marsha seems to think that some of the rules that I set for myself are a little over the top. But I don't think it's unreasonable to not turn on the heat or add the blanket to my bed before November 1. This is Oregon, for crying out loud. Temperate. Sure I am always cold and currently can't feel my fingers, but it's the principle of the matter.

Every morning when I get up I do the exact same thing - brush-teeth-wash-face-put-in-contacts-turn-on-shower-undress-shower-towel-in-hair-lotion-redress-make-coffee-take-vitamins-feed-cats-dry-hair-read-email-plug-in-curling-iron-scoop-litter-read-news-curl-hair-makeup-face-dress-read-more-news-put-on-jewelry-go-to-work. I have rules about which coffee place I go to depending on where I am working, which result in specific driving routes. I do my dangedest to be to work between 7:15 and 7:30, depending on the office I'm in. If I take a lunch I take it at approximately the same time every day, again depending on the office, but I don't stick too much to that. When I get home, though I do immediately change into houseclothes, the evening is pretty mixed until 9:30 when the get-ready-for-bed routine takes over. I don't think I am any different than anybody else, really, I mean, what is life without some kind of order? Chaos, that's what. And my work life is chaotic enough.

Maybe that's why when I get up on Sunday morning I take the far corner of the fitted sheet with me so that the bed is half-stripped by the time I am half way to the bathroom. Maybe that's why I won't wear socks or a coat until December 1. Maybe that's why the cats don't get their wet-food treat until promptly 9pm, no matter how much they meow. And maybe that's why I HAVE to be in bed by 10pm, and at 11pm, even if I am not tired enough to sleep or the show on TV is really interesting, I take off my glasses, turn down the sound, roll over and close my eyes.

Order. Routine. Rules. They're all comfortable. They're all safe. They're all a little bit of normalcy in an otherwise not so normal existence.

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