Giving Reverence To Routine

March 25, 2012

in Everyday life,Life Lessons

“Ritual maintains the world’s holiness. As in a dream a small object
may assume significance, so in a life that is animated by ritual there
are no insignificant things.” Thomas Moore

Most mornings commence with the same beginnings. My alarm rings at 5:30 a.m. and as I lace up my tennis shoes, there is a layer cake of varying shades of darkness in the horizon. The route I run greets me with familiar sights: the pale-brown rabbits hopping away, the amber-pink-blue sky plays as the sun rises, the rush of cars at the traffic light, and the green cacti littered on almost every turn. It is always the same. And in this sameness I find a deep sense of comfort.

I’ve learned in the last few years my deep friendship with routine.  As soon as my run is finished, I open the blinds in the kitchen, brew coffee, and empty the dishwasher. These actions are so ordinary, but offer a sense of peace. The reminder that with my hands I can let the outside world come into my space by allowing a streak of light to peek through the blinds. That my senses can hear the dripping of the coffee and smell the vanilla hazelnut liquid even if I am not in the same room. Hearing the clank and clang of pots and pans reminds me of the dinner I shared with my family.

There are other rituals that set the pace of my life. I talk with my Mom everyday, even if it is a brief exchange of hellos or a longer conversation about nothing in particular. My daughter and I exchange a dozen love yous during the day. There are other moments of purely mundane activity: washing dishes in the sink, walking out to the mailbox to retrieve the mail, placing the dirty clothes in the hamper, and taking my daughter to school. These ordinary movements pierces me with the awareness that I am here. And I am privileged enough to embrace a routine.

It’s these insignificant actions that become a part of who you are, even though you may not consciously be aware of it. There is an umbrella of comfort that accompanies me through all of my various routines. Despite the sometimes unexpected changes that happens to all, the routine is where there can be an overriding sense of belonging, comfort and grace. And in it, if you are conscious enough, you can feel the holiness.

Image by crestedcrazy

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{ 61 comments… read them below or add one }

1 SuziCate March 26, 2012 at 5:39 am

Umbrella of comfort – I like that a lot. I love routine though I’ve found mine changing lately, but I’ve found it good for me to invite more into my life. There are holy blessed moments throughout each day in our lives…when we recognize them it is grace.
SuziCate recently posted..Chasing Shadows

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2 Tiffany March 27, 2012 at 6:34 am

I was just thinking this same thing today as I was loading clothes in the dryer. Why get so upset over all the crap we have to do every day and instead revel in the routine and the bliss of having a full life? I always love your reminders, Rudri.
Tiffany recently posted..Gabe’s 10th Birthday

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3 ayala March 28, 2012 at 4:02 am

Thank you for the reminder, Rudri. We are blessed with busy full lives and we forget to take it in and be grateful. Lovely post. xo
ayala recently posted..The One For Me

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4 jamie March 29, 2012 at 12:39 am

Happy SITS day, Rudri! I believe there is beauty in everything if we take time to look. I love how you simply look at life and embrace the joy and beauty of it.
jamie recently posted..World Vision Malaysia Child Sponsorship

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5 Rudri April 4, 2012 at 4:43 pm

Jamie,

Welcome! So glad you are here from SITS. You are right. There is beauty everywhere. We just have to pay attention and be present. Hope you enjoyed perusing my posts. Thanks for visiting.

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6 jenn March 29, 2012 at 2:22 am

Happy SITS day:) I love my routines like that, too. I can be a little thrown off if something changes them!!
jenn recently posted..Mirrors

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7 Rudri April 4, 2012 at 9:38 pm

Welcome Jenn! I agree with you. Anytime my routine shifts, my whole day kilters in the other direction. Thanks so much for visiting my space.

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8 Anne March 29, 2012 at 3:04 am

I’ve heard it said before that routine is what can make us the strong person that we would like to be. Thanks for reminding me :)
Anne recently posted..First Love

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9 Rudri April 4, 2012 at 9:40 pm

Anne,

Thanks again for visiting. I do believe routine helps us connect to our inner core. Over time, especially in adversity, we rely on that core strength to get us through. Glad you liked the reminder.

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10 Lee March 29, 2012 at 5:20 am

I love life lessons and often talk about them on my site. I am over from SITS…love your writing and will visit often and have added you to my “list” of must reads!
Lee recently posted..Do You Have the Power to Change After Divorce?

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11 Rudri April 4, 2012 at 9:41 pm

Lee,

Welcome! Thanks for visiting. I appreciate the compliment and look forward to more of your insight on my posts.

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12 Maggi March 29, 2012 at 5:41 am

I find comfort in the “ordinariness” of routine as well. Washing the dishes does it for me. lol Happy SITS day!
Maggi recently posted..I Collect Dead People

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13 Rudri April 4, 2012 at 9:46 pm

Maggi,

Thanks for reading and commenting. I often find the ordinary grounds me during my day. Hope you enjoyed perusing my space.

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14 misssrobin March 29, 2012 at 6:09 am

You beautifully capture the idea of finding joy and meaning in each moment. I’ll admit, sometimes I can do this. Sometimes I can’t. But I’m working on it.

Congratulations on your SITS day. I hope it’s a fabulous day for you.
misssrobin recently posted..I Was Too Embarrassed to Say Anything

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15 Rudri April 4, 2012 at 9:48 pm

Miss Robin,

We all falter in trying to honor the ordinary. It is a conscious effort for me. And like you, some days are better than others in recognizing joy from everday actions. I appreciate your comment and welcome to my space. Thanks for your words.

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16 Katherine March 29, 2012 at 6:41 am

Stopping by from SITS. What a beautiful post. I need more ordinary in my life, I think.
Katherine recently posted..Monkey, Version 3.12

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17 Rudri April 4, 2012 at 9:58 pm

Katherine,

Welcome! And thanks for stopping by. All of us could benefit by integrating and paying attention to the ordinary. So grateful that my post resonated with you.

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18 Sarah @littlewhitewhale March 29, 2012 at 6:42 am

So beautiful, those ordinary moments. I need frequent reminders like this post to be present because so often I am not. I have a crazy monkey mind! I love the simple images you created–lifting the blinds, brewing coffee, unloading the dishwasher–and how you take comfort in them. I can see myself doing the same. Thank you for this.
Sarah @littlewhitewhale recently posted..who’s afraid of some chin hairs?

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19 Rudri April 4, 2012 at 10:01 pm

That crazy monkey mind? I have it too. For years, I’ve sought meditation and books to help calm my inner mind, but I always default into my old habits. To a certain degree, the routine helps ground me and creates a calm that is unforced.

Thanks for sharing your words. Welcome to my space and appreciate your insightful comment.

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20 Barb - The Empty Nest Mom March 29, 2012 at 6:43 am

You DO have a peaceful tone to your writing. And I agree with this – I find many chores and regular old things I do each day to be a meditation of sorts. Lovely.
Barb – The Empty Nest Mom recently posted..Cycling at 75 and 88

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21 Rudri April 4, 2012 at 10:04 pm

Barb,

Welcome! It is meditative to do ordinary repetitive tasks. It is soothing for me because it is predictable and I can bury my worries and doubts without effort by engaging in something I do almost everyday.

Thanks so much for your generous and thoughtful compliment. Glad my post resonated with you.

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22 Susan in the Boonies March 29, 2012 at 7:43 am

Yes: I like the way you’ve pointed out the rhythm in the rituals of our days.

I hope your SITS day is very happy, although I imagine it is certainly a break from your routine.
Susan in the Boonies recently posted..Lord and Lady Boonie Strut Their Stuff

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23 Rudri April 4, 2012 at 10:27 pm

Susan,

My SITS day was great! A nice break from the routine. There is a rhythm to all of our days and for me it provides me the best kind of comfort. Welcome to my space and appreciate your comment.

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24 Jennifer March 29, 2012 at 7:51 am

When I left the legal profession to become a SAHM, I too realized how I have come to rely on those routines. I derive comfort from habit and predictability. You are a beautiful writer! I’m glad to have found your blog. :)
Jennifer recently posted..What I learn from you…

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25 Rudri April 5, 2012 at 9:58 pm

Welcome Jennifer!

I agree. Ritual and routine provide structure to my day and help motivate me to complete larger goals. There is a certain cadence that resonates with ordinary everyday tasks.

Thanks so much for reading and commenting. I appreciate it.

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26 Jen@a drop in the bucket March 29, 2012 at 8:21 am

Such true words. Thank you for the perfect reminder today!

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27 Rudri April 6, 2012 at 8:29 am

Jen,

Welcome! Thanks for visiting and commenting. I often need these reminders for myself. To live and love the ordinary.

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28 Missy | Literal Mom March 29, 2012 at 8:26 am

I hope you have a great SITS day today! Love this post. So quiet, yet powerful.
Missy | Literal Mom recently posted..Spring Renewal Time and an Offer from Whole Health Designs

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29 Rudri April 6, 2012 at 8:31 am

Missy,

Welcome! Thanks for visiting. I hope you had an enjoyable time perusing my posts.

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30 Drink Your Greens and Minerals! March 29, 2012 at 8:30 am

Wonderfully stated and written. Its so true isn’t that our routines are important and are revealing. I think they also save us. When I don’t have some routine that starts my day I fell off balance. Thank you for this observation. I enjoyed visiting…from SITS. :)
Drink Your Greens and Minerals! recently posted..Getting To Know You Blog Hop #2

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31 Rudri April 6, 2012 at 8:37 am

Welcome!

I like what you say about routine saving us. I know that in the midst of great distress, I often do things that reminds me of normalcy and usually that is immersing myself in my routine.

Thanks for visiting and I appreciate your words of encouragement.

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32 Missy @ Wonder, Friend March 29, 2012 at 8:47 am

I do love the peace of a routine. It IS almost holy. When I stick to my routine (especially in the morning), it’s easy to find the quiet, the time for reflection and prayer. When I let it get away from me, all of life feels noisy.

P.S. – Seriously, something is amiss, because no matter how I subscribe to your blog – one of my all time favorites, by the way – it stops working and I don’t get your updates. I hopped over here to check on you today, wondering why I hadn’t seen a post in so long. Turns out, you ARE posting. I’m just not getting them!! I’m resubscribing now. And then spending some time reading and catching up on your blog.
Missy @ Wonder, Friend recently posted..More Important Victories

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33 Rudri April 6, 2012 at 8:33 am

Hi Missy!

You may have gotten a couple of emails from me (directed to the other Missy – so sorry). I agree. There is a peace in routine and the comfort I derive from immersing myself in ordinary tasks becomes a vehicle for me to reflect.

So sorry you’re having problems subscribing to my site. Can you try again? Let me know via email if it worked.

Love to see words from one of my early readers.

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34 Alethea March 29, 2012 at 9:09 am

They say babies thrive on routine. I think there’s, indeed, something entirely comforting about one’s daily routine. It establishes the sense of normalcy one can depend on when all of life seems to be anything but dependable. Great blog, and happy SITS day!
Alethea recently posted..Thank God

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35 Rudri April 6, 2012 at 8:45 am

Welcome Alethea!

I often find routines life saving. It grounds me and gives me comfort when other parts of my life are in disarray.

Thanks for visiting and I appreciate your kind words.

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36 April March 29, 2012 at 9:31 am

Stopping by to wish you a very HAPPY SITS DAY! Love your writing style!
April recently posted..Time For A Break

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37 Rudri April 6, 2012 at 8:53 am

Welcome April!

Thanks for visiting and grateful for your support. Glad my writing style resonated with you.

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38 kyfirewife March 29, 2012 at 9:31 am

How true. And it’s our routine, the mundane, that when altered, leave the greatest changes in our lives.
kyfirewife recently posted..One Picture

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39 Rudri April 6, 2012 at 8:56 am

Welcome!

I agree. Although we may not be conscious of it, when the mundane is changed, it is more difficult to move through one’s day.

Thanks for visiting.

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40 Cathy March 29, 2012 at 9:59 am

Routine provides me stability that I need so much. My most favorite routine, stumbling out to the kitchen to put on the coffee and then enjoying that first sip. Steaming hot, robust, flavorful.
Cathy recently posted..all grow’d up

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41 OneMommy March 29, 2012 at 11:15 am

There IS something comforting about having that routine to fall upon.
I love how you said it is who you are – so true. I need to change a few things in my routine to be who I want to be…
Happy SITS day.
OneMommy recently posted..Thankful for What My Kids Have Taught Me

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42 Rudri April 6, 2012 at 3:49 pm

Welcome OneMommy!

I think the right kind of routine can provide the best comfort. Hope you find the right fit.
Thanks for commenting and I appreciate you leaving words of support.

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43 C @ Kid Things March 29, 2012 at 11:19 am

I can not live without a routine. I never knew I was such a schedule-oriented person before I had kids, but I would be lost without it. Adore this, adore you, and I’m glad to see you’re getting some well-deserved SITS attention today.
C @ Kid Things recently posted..The Horrors

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44 Rudri April 6, 2012 at 3:50 pm

Thanks Crystal. Always nice to see words of encouragement from one of my regular readers. I am truly grateful for your presence in my space. xoxo

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45 Jennifer March 29, 2012 at 11:42 am

I was just thinking about this this morning. My life is finally starting to have a sense of routine to it and I enjoy the comfort that comes with knowing what comes next. I do enjoy the sense of adventure that comes with change though!
Enjoyed stopping by your blog today for the first time. Noticed you were featured on SITS today!
Jennifer recently posted..OBX Adventures

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46 Rudri April 6, 2012 at 3:51 pm

Welcome Jennifer!

I believe the certainty is what provides the most comfort. I am still struggling to embrace adventure. Because I am so focused on routine, I lose sight of how much freshness a new adventure may bring. Thanks for your insight.

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47 Carla K. March 29, 2012 at 1:18 pm

You had me at the quote by Thomas Moore.

Beautiful writing.

I envy you your dailly talks with your mom. Mine passed away 6 years ago and I miss those talks after my son (he was in HS at the time) got on the bus and the conversation could be about nothing in particular… but how I miss those talks.

I enjoyed reading your post… Thank you for this.
Carla K. recently posted..How To Find The Perfect Foundation

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48 Alicia March 29, 2012 at 1:30 pm

What a lovely sentiment. I wish I had the drive to get up at 5:30 every morning and workout. That is amazing. Just reading over this post brought a peace to my mind and I am blessed to have taken that moment to sit and enjoy life. Thank you
Have a lovely SITS day!
Alicia recently posted..Easter is coming up so quickly

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49 Rudri April 6, 2012 at 4:09 pm

Alicia,

I am so glad my words resonated with you. It’s always challenge waking up that early, but ultimately I find it sets the tone for my day. Thanks for your kind words. Appreciate it.

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50 Alicia March 29, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Happy SITS day!
Stopping by from my other blog to show much support! Truly an inspirational writer!
Alicia recently posted..A few days break

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51 Rudri April 6, 2012 at 4:04 pm

Thanks Alicia. Appreciate your words of support. Hope you enjoyed perusing my posts.

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52 Shannon Pruitt from 'Mynewfavoriteday' March 29, 2012 at 5:35 pm

Happy SITS day! This was a beautiful post. I too love the quiet grace in routine. The sounds, smells and peace that come with simple rituals. Even as I sit here typing today, I can hear my mini’s voices as they eat dinner and the quiet typing of the keys peck away at the keyboard. A quiet peace. I hope you enjoy your day!
Shannon Pruitt from ‘Mynewfavoriteday’ recently posted..If you feel like “Running from Hell,” chase “Mynewfavoriteweek’ly Inspiration.”

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53 Rudri April 6, 2012 at 4:06 pm

Welcome Shannon!

I love how you describe routine as quiet grace. Those are the perfect words for how I view daily routine and ritual. Thanks for visiting my site.

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54 Jessica@Team Rasler March 29, 2012 at 8:18 pm

I love how you put it that you have a “deep friendship with routine.” I do as well, and it’s been a tough adjustment for me to adapt as my kids were each born and changed their own routines every few months.

This also reminds me of something I read on The Happiness Project years ago that it matters more what you do every day than what you do once in a while. Sounds like what you do every day is meaningful not only to you but to those blessed with your presence.

Happy SITS day!
Jessica@Team Rasler recently posted..A moment in boyhood

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55 Rudri April 6, 2012 at 3:57 pm

Welcome Jessica!

I believe that as our lives evolve from life’s changes we must change up our routine. We do whatever works and offers the most comfort. Thanks so much for your insight. I also follow the Happiness Project and recall Gretchen Rubin stating a similar sentiment.

Thanks for visiting.

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56 Belinda March 30, 2012 at 4:15 pm

This post reminds me that I need more routines in my days. My schedule is so erratic that even my morning and bedtime rituals are a challenge to normalize. Some days, the most I can do is breathe, pause, then proceed.

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57 Classic NYer March 31, 2012 at 4:08 pm

You’re so right about the comfort of routine. It’s why some people are afraid to change. But you know, things don’t have to change all the time. Some things can stay the same.
Classic NYer recently posted..On anger (or Scenes from Married Life)

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58 Rose's Daughter March 31, 2012 at 5:11 pm

There is something just so comforting about routine. Even when you get bored with it, routine is sometimes necessary to calm me down i find.
Visiting from SITS! Happy Belated SITS Day
Rose’s Daughter recently posted..Beyond Exhausted

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59 Rudri April 6, 2012 at 3:55 pm

Welcome!

I agree. As many others have stated, routine brings comfort. You only realize this when it becomes a novelty. Appreciate your visiting my space and thanks for commenting.

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60 Jamie April 4, 2012 at 9:32 am

Amen to this! I am sitting here right now with my morning routine- a hot cup of coffee, checking out a new blog (btw stopping by some SITS), and getting all of my emails taken care of.
There is something very comforting about routine.
Jamie recently posted..My African Serval

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61 Rudri April 6, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Welcome Jamie!

Your routine sounds very familiar to me. I also enjoy a cup of coffee while I read. I believe it helps set the tone of my day. Thanks for your visit.

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