For the past few years, my husband and I have enjoyed starting our off days outside with a cup of coffee. Unless it’s just stupid cold, you can find us pajama clad with warm, dark goodness on whatever morning finds us at home together. I’ve even garnered a small but loyal group of Instagram followers who consistently tell me they look forward to seeing what coffee cup I’ll feature next. In the upheaval we now call Savannah Move 2014 (or my personal favorite, The Great Hampton Exodus) that lovely routine was disrupted.
As in “lost for almost two weeks”.
We danced when we found the box with the coffee pot. I may have sang a bit of Handel when I discovered the French press and the tea kettle. Finding quality, whole bean coffee was another challenge soon remedied by my husband who ventured to Perc Coffee Roasters a mere two miles from our house.
Suddenly there were familiar sounds and smells amidst the chaos. The coffee grinder echoed off the galley kitchen walls. The coffee maker needed no reminder that its job was to create liquid goodness. Oh how I smiled when we made that first pot of coffee in our new place, poured it into familiar mugs and sat, outside, at the rickety little café table I wouldn’t trade for anything.
As a writer I understand the concept of routines and why it’s so important to establish them. When it comes to professional pursuits I can convince myself that it’s imperative that I train my muse, my creativity and my brain.
Why is it so hard to do the same for more important things? Honestly, I had no idea how much I needed those mornings outside with coffee in a mug with silly pictures. How much I needed to sit outside, shielded from the world by some form of patio, in my jim-jams.
Routine is not just necessary to train your muse to show up every time your butt lands in your writing chair. It’s also not just something you do so you can check it off your never-ending to-do- list. Routine tells us everything is OK, ensures that we’re not crazy, flipping idiots. Routine says, “Hey, you might be living in some chaos right now. Life may be a bit topsy-turvy. Heck, everything may be going to hell in a hand basket and it’s all your fault BUT there’s still tea to be had.
I mean, think about it: why DID Arthur Dent need that cup of tea so badly? He needed something familiar, some normality in the face of the violent upheaval of his hum-drum existence.
(Image found on Pinterest)
We NEED routine. We need things that whisper of normality even if nothing is familiar. It may take a while, but little by little, those old routines will establish themselves in a new place. Slowly but surely my soul will come home again.
What routines do you need in your life? Do you stick to the same routines in your writing, your mornings, your drive to work?