Love routine, love adventures

Hooray! After lots of little adventures this year, resuming a familiar routine is a pleasure. It’s always a balancing act between routine and disruption. I am so happy to slip back into my basic routines of life.

This year up to now has been dominated by multiple adventures: trips and festivals away and hosting of sisters and other family members. Which I have totally loved: every adventure has been delightful. But when I  went to the Sunday market today I realised how often I’ve missed that simple weekly outing this year.

Photo of blue and white sky over a few yachts and the Freyberg gym. A sign says "Get more out."

Now for the foreseeable future I’m settled into my little routines. Back to Sunday morning market, coffee, and grandson. Back to Pilates and Pump at the Freyberg gym (which was closed for months for upgrading). Habits that make me happy.

A dear little life of habits and routine

Being able to set your own routine is a privilege. I know this and appreciate it. My life may surely seem dull from the outside, day by day — to others. But not to me.

I love admiring the sunrise every morning while I do tai chi.

Photo of pink and blue sky above a dark wooded hillside.
Every sunrise is different so I look at every one.

I love staring at the footpath. I love walking to my daughter’s place for Saturday lunch.

Photo of an angular pine tree behind a green and white notice saying "Massey University. Emergency Assembly Area."

These are all well-worn habits.

Finding a balance between routine and disruption

Routine brings security, familiarity, comfort, and freedom from endless decision-making. Unmitigated routine brings boredom and stagnation, and probably diminishes our brain power. Disrupting routines brings excitement, shock, challenges, and learning. Too much disruption can be destabilising, exhausting, and worrying.

As we grow old, the balance may shift — but I’m not sure about that. All I know is that I thrive on living in the same place year after year, and I also need regular injections of new scenery, new projects, new events and new ideas. Travel provides that for many people but for me, nowadays, the adventures are closer to home. They often take place in my own home, in my own head.

Is that perfect? I hope not. Perfection repels me. Perfection is never my aim. How about you?

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21 thoughts on “Love routine, love adventures

  1. Gallivanta says:

    I love my routines. Disruptions are usually exhausting but they are necessary.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Necessary: of course they are!

  2. Sadje says:

    I love my routine. In fact when it’s off I’m in stress till I catch up.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Strange, isn’t it? We are only human.

      1. Sadje says:

        It is a quirk that I have.

  3. We’ve had the disruption of looking after a boisterous border collie in the last few days. The cat hides in the house, the hen struts through the garden quite unruffled, and I have the job of managing them to achieve a happy outcome. Come to think of it, all are examples of how we may choose to respond to disruption!

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Absolutely! You just hit the nail on the head.

  4. Where would we be without that balance?

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Grovelling in the mud?

  5. Love my routines. It’s therapy for me!

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Scratch a life that seems wildly exciting to other and you find one with set routines. I think.

  6. alison41 says:

    You have neatly summed up one of the dilemmas of old age! thanks for a useful post.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      The rhythm changes but that balance is still a priority.

  7. The odd little surprise, or disruption, is welcome, but the routine is stabilising and reassuring.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Now there’s a succinct summary 🙂

  8. judithhb says:

    A couple of times recently I have been overwhelmed by the adventures. Not necessarily good adventures but caring for friends who are not as well as me. Driving them and trying to be as helpful as possible. All this added to the usual things I do every week, mah-jongg, memory writing, lunch with other friends, group meetings, often means I miss out on my routine. My daughter reminds me that I am no longer young and I should space out these adventures.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Daughters remind us of some truths. But we are us and have to pace ourselves our own way. But it’s not easy. You are being useful and helpful in the world, but to do this, you need your own self-sustaining routines. It is tricky!

  9. Ha, that’s so interesting. Striking the right balance is the key for sure. I think with the writing life, a disruption can be really useful but routine is also key if you want to get the writing done. My morning swims are my favourite routine at the moment and the crosswords (and wordle)… but too, they are also my way of procrastinating about writing… My first cup of tea in the morning is a routine that goes with me wherever I go…

  10. Wynne Leon says:

    I love how you are finding the balance that works for you. I think disruption helps us appreciate the routine and vice versa. And we teeter back and forth, never getting bored… 🙂

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      True. After disruption it’s not boredom that returns but enthusiasm for both Tranquillity and –wait for it — work!

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