Routines Can Be A Life Saver

Ethel continues to gain in health and is able to walk about and have some regular food.  There is a road ahead to recovery, but we are hopeful she will be able to live at home again soon.  But as life goes, we never know.  What will be, will be and we shall accept.

Also I am hoping she will be able to take some phone calls and email soon, will keep you posted.  Ethel thanks you for the wonderful thoughts and love.

Here is one of her blogs we have had “on file.”  During this health crisis, Ethel has often been asked how she managed to live to be 99 and take care of herself in her own house.  I think having a routine, a schedule, a way to remember all that needs doing each day is one of the keys, so here is her Routines Can Be A Life Saver.

We all hate schedules, and yet, dang it, everyone, no matter how young or not-so-young. has a routine for their days.

To begin with, a newborn infant immediately has a schedule of food, sleep and bath, and which during all of childhood gently but constantly changes, and before long, schooling arrives, then jobs begin, and before we know it, adult Life itself sets in and we have become so ‘routined’ that we ask, “When will I ever get a little Free Time?”

But, unconsciously we like it, for after the freedom of a day or week’s vacation, we snuggle back into our routine with a comfy ‘home again’ feeling. And so it goes, until e-v-e-n-t-u-a-l-l-y Retirement, enters our mind, and when it actually becomes real, after the first month or so of ‘no routine’, we not only miss, but need having something to do with our days.

The smart ones see this coming and begin exploring hobbies that, long ago, had been set aside for lack of time. Or we recall some skill we always wanted to learn, such as wood work, a new language, plumbing, farming, writing. We all have long-buried ‘itches’ and finally know that retirement is when they can blossom. At last we have the time to do what we want, not must do. Nice.

I once took some Buddhist classes and found those old Zen Teachers were wise, wise, wise. Their thoughts are from a thousand or more years ago, but they knew about human nature, and that life was life wherever   or whenever lived. Among much else, those classes told me of the absolute necessity of a daily routine to use, and to revise as changes come. And, we were reassured, changes will come.

It was stressed to keep it simple, for our days can’t be, or should never be, ‘carbon-copies’ . Can’t be, because, the phone rings and right then, our day can change, or unexpected company comes, an illness or accident happens, you get a headache, and so on, But, the need of a pattern for our days, was still stressed, for like it or not, that’s how life is. Always changing, and after the shock of small, large, joyous or heartbreaking ones, we adjust, flow with life and this adjustment happens mainly because we have a firm foundation, our routine to fall back upon.

So, the good Teachers advised a written Routine, and mine fits nicely on one side of a type sheet, kept in my computer where it’s easily up-dated, and so can print out a few when needed. I then keep them in a loose-leaf where I can make notes for coming days, and refer to what went on a week or two ago if wanted.

On one side of the sheet I have a list of what I plan to put into this ‘machine I call Ethel’, to keep it ready and fit to accomplish what I plan to do with it. This list includes all Medications, plus Vitamins and such, And if I can get those Vitamins from Food or a Capsule, matters not, Just Get Them into my Machine. And this means keeping track of my cups of water, too

And inasmuch as each item, when done, is crossed OFF, there’s no more wondering if I did or didn’t take that pill. It’s there on the sheet.

On the To-Do side, I list my Meditation, or prayer time, plus exercise, tidying the house from yesterday’s leftovers, making phone calls or email that’s needed. Appointments made, walking forward AND backwards, shopping trips needed, etc., bathing, proper care of the body, taking care of daily garbage, my meals, massage and so on.

These lists use about half of the sheet but they will vary as time goes on, but include my writing, which is to me is both my work and joy. And I tell myself how much time is spent with that writing and what it is about. I keep track of what and when I eat, and if I might feel unwell, I can look back to see if it was something I ate, or didn’t eat.

I include walking, forward and backward (no fooling, keep that skill, for it helps keep your balance in good condition)  Yes, and the care of toe and fingernails. Be as picky as you choose, and if some of the actions are   on a weekly or daily schedule, still put them down anyway.

Keep your daily sheet where you see it often during the day , and it will not only be a reminder to you to walk, exercise, or meditate, because, if I feel lost, or moody, I turn to my daily routine and see what I might not have done for that day, and right then and there I go and do it, But any way, it’s either writing or meditation I turn to, . but choose your own, and you’ll find your mood will change. Just like that. The technique wouldn’t have lasted through the ages if it didn’t work, and speedily, too. Sure worth a try.

2 thoughts on “Routines Can Be A Life Saver

  1. Schedules and routines are a safe way to see progress. It’s like watching time go by. We don’t see trees or fields, but we do see those things on our “to do” lists either physically or mentally watch them go by.
    As I rise I check the weather, my stocks, gold prices, obituaries. I progress to a puzzle: sudoku, crossword, Isaac Asimov’s quiz.
    Then emails, looking for someone’s blog, etal.
    There are always necessities, visits to the water closet, picking the fashion of the day and checking the sock count: I do the laundry when the sock count gets low as in a pair a day.
    meals are signs of progress, “breakfast is passed, lunch is coming up.” checking if there is enough for the two of you, or do you both have the same things.
    Bedtime is always tough, did we get the meds, are the doors secure, has the dog been seen to.
    You see, each day has its progress signs. Work has to be inserted in places necessary to meet schedules and due dates.
    These are the signposts of progress and seeing to the to do list and its completion. They are the food of activity, they are the measure of the week, and involve anticipation for upcoming “leaves of absence” to Disneyland, the canyons, Yellowstone and other activities that mark a month or year. Reveiwing pix and cherished memories or “we’ll never do taht again.”
    O yeah, we gotta have the “to do” around us all the time, they are the index cards of memories and events that mark our progress to the next days, weeks, and months.

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