Daily Archives: April 20, 2019

Routines (April A ~ Z Challenge)


I don’t have a lot of set routines in my house, and the ones I have are pretty easily set aside (see Exceptions), but I like a little structure. Some regular practices:

  • Yoga. I try to start every day with a little yoga practice. It seems to set a focus for my day, and helps to work out the kinks from my achy joints.
  • Pilates. Because I recently spent two hundred dollars on a Pilates chair, and feel I need to justify that indulgence, I’ve been trying to do some work on it every day. Often, it’s simply the up and down resistance leg exercises that I can do while writing Morning Pages.
  • Morning Pages. This is stream-of-consciousness writing, ideally three longhand pages, as outlined by Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Way. I’ve been trying to maintain this practice for many years now, with wildly varying rates of success.
  • Walk. The new dog has been a blessing in many ways; one of them is that it has gotten me back into the routine of walking every day. In fact, we manage at least two walks a day, sometimes more. All of the dogs appreciate it, and so do I.
  • Dishes. One steadfast rule in my house is that dishes must be done every single day. Even if it’s just one coffee cup. Otherwise, my slobbish tendencies come out to play, and my house devolves into chaos.
  • Sing. It’s a silly thing, but whenever, for whatever reason, I cry out, “Oh, Lord,” I feel that I absolutely must sing out the entire song, in a bad approximation of Janis Joplin’s voice: “Oh, Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz? My friends all have Porsches, I must make amends. I worked hard all my life, Lord, no help from my friends…Oh, Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz?” I usually sing all three verses, requesting also a color TV and a night on the town.
  • Treat. Whenever a dog goes outside, and comes back in, the dog gets a treat. When one dog gets a treat, they all do. I’ve had to cut down the size of the treats over the years – they are now about the size of BBs – because they play this rule for all they can get out of it. I swear, Rosa Parks and Darla have perfected a tag team sequence of going out and coming in that ensures the maximum amount of treats in any given time period. So far, Blackie Chan has not gotten in on the action, and sometimes he looks confused – though pleasantly surprised – at yet another piece of kibble being offered.
  • Studio. I try to spend some time every single day in the studio. Even if I don’t make anything worthwhile. Even if I don’t make art at all. Even if I only tidy. Even if I don’t even tidy, but just sit in that space. Whatever. Just the act of going there, of being there, enforces the notion that I am an artist, and keeps the ideas coming.
  • Read. I’m sure I could not fall asleep if I didn’t read a little before bed. Sometimes, I can barely keep my eyes open. Sometimes I have to re-read the same material the next day, because so little of it registered. Still, this is a routine that I never miss.
  • Gratitude. My mother was big on counting blessings, and encouraged her children to do the same. I am currently reading The Gratitude Diaries by Janice Kaplan, and it has reminded me how important it is to look for the good in each day. So, I’ve revived the practice of writing down what I’m thankful for, each night before I go to bed.