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Banbury Cross

a pillow for lost thoughts...

Post details: Ode to Routine

Ode to Routine

Having to move is a major galactic nuisance.

Sure, there are some perks associated with moving, mostly along the lines of unearthing tons of cool stuff from the long undisturbed layers of our personal biosphere - precious old photographs, misplaced official documents, arcane articles of clothing, lost cooking recipes etc - but these treasures are not worth the overall harrowing experience whose pain generating potential is second only to sumo wrestling with a saguaro cactus in the middle of a nasty hail storm.

My apartment complex is being spiffed up into a bloc of income sucking luxury abodes, so this deliberately avoided affliction finally caught up with me as well. It took me two whole days to haul my stuff five miles down the road and that was not all. The third day I still had to go back to my old place for the final clean up. Since I was wise enough to leave a towel there, and since cleaning turned out to be a surprisingly dirty business, I decided to take one last shower in the bathroom which served me well for over 9 years.

The rays of warm water were just what the doctor ordered. They felt like fingers of a gentle Thai masseuse. However, when I stepped out of the shower, a problem emerged: Where are my glasses? Under normal circumstances, I would have put my glasses either on the dresser or on top of my digital piano - but neither piece of furniture was present so there was no point looking there. To make matters worse, my back up glasses which I could possibly use to locate the primary glasses were in my new place as well. So here I was, a steaming (both literally and figuratively) lump of flesh with effective recognition radius of about 3 feet, trying to spot a tiny metal frame resting quietly somewhere in a psychedelic landscape of colorful but blurred blobs.

I started pacing impatiently to and fro, squinting around like a befuddled bat and carefully feeling every even remotely level surface with my fingers. Nothing. After this myopic search dragged on for about 5 minutes, I remembered that just before the shower I was looking out of the window. Indeed, there they were, shining innocently on the window sill.

This little ordeal taught me an important lesson though. Habits are kind of like personal assistants. They keep track of where things are so that we don't have to. Stereotypical routines are nature's ways of shielding us from boring and mundane details so we can focus on important stuff. It is at moments like these, when the old little drills break apart, that we are thrown into the boisterous ocean of possibilities and try to swim in it. If you saw the movie "Perfect Storm" you know that it is not always as much fun as cavorting on a beach in Hawaii.

It is said that when people age they become set in their ways. But those "set ways" can save you plenty of time when you are looking for something you cannot function without.


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