Our days our organized around numerous small actions we repeat over and over. What’s your favorite daily ritual?
For me? The daily ritual is not fun. I don’t have a favorite. And they’re not optional. They’re MANDATORY.
For some people (like myself) this line from the movie “Pay It Forward” is so true:
Eugene Simonet: “You don’t see me. [A beat.] All right? My life . . . my life is familiar. My life is . . . it’s manageable. It’s manageable. Everyday . . . I have a thing I do everyday. It’s all I’ve ever known. And it’s a routine and as long as I have that, as long as I have that, I’m okay. I’m okay. If I don’t have it, I’m lost.” Wikipedia – quotes from Pay It Forward
I live there. It’s getting worse too. For the character in the movie, someone came along and jolted him out of his safe routine. For me? I don’t know what would happen. I suspect that way is fracturing into so many pieces that I’ll never recover. So I just don’t go there. At all.
The most important ritual/routine is at night before bed. I have a series of things I MUST do, in order, to be able to sleep. It’s from the trauma that I endured as a child. I’ve tried over the years to break it, the cycle, and all it got me was a lot of intimate knowledge of insomnia. I CANNOT sleep (even with medication) if I mess up that routine.
It’s gotten a little better in this past two years. I feel relatively safe where I am. I don’t have to check locks and make sure the windows are firmly latched, and wonder about that noise at 3 a.m… but there was a time. A long time. My husband (whom I falsely thought would make me feel safe) didn’t get it. He was broken in a different way from mine, and I don’t think he ever felt physically unsafe. I never thought I did either, but it’s been revealed over time that most children who are abused in the way I was are hypervigilant for the rest of their lives.
A woman I know brought the levels and shading in hypervigilance to the forefront of my brain last summer. She had someone walk into her house, a stranger, uninvited. She had left her door unlocked because her family didn’t ‘like having to carry around a key all the time”. It made me furious. I don’t know this woman’s story very well, but I know she’s gone through some trauma that would have, if there’s a merciful God, killed me.
And in her shoes I’d lock the clustering door all the time. Obsessively. Those big mouths whining about their keys could go cluster themselves too. Clusterheads.
I said so. She wasn’t receptive to criticism about her family and I got the pitying look childless women get if they offer an opinion about someone else’s kids. Whatever. She should still feel safe if she wants to, including locking her door. A couple of months later she was >apparently< in an upswing of her moods, and was cheerful and chattered on about going to sleep with her door unlocked and not obsessing about it. I thought about the mess she was after that stranger walked into her house, how she wrung every vestige of drama out of the event, and made me feel sorry for her. I’m stupid sometimes, but I firmly believe in ‘fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on YOU” and I’ll save my pity for someone deserving.
This got off the track of routine, but those who have OCD or have these little rituals and routines in place to keep our world balanced, will get why I rambled on so. To lose the routine is the way to chaos and chaos leads to madness. I don’t need to be more mad, thanks.
So back to the original question: “What’s your favorite daily ritual?” Favorite schmavorite…they’re all NECESSARY!
© Melanie Bee Cee 2016
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The wonderful photograph was taken by Jesse Bowser and acquired through Unsplash. It’s a great source for free photos under the Creative Commons Zero license, so check it out!