As I’ve gotten older I’ve found that there are more and more routines, daily or regularly scheduled activities that define the days and get done the things that need to get done, while also sucking up time and smothering the creativity and joy in life.

It’s a conundrum, a balance that is leaving me both confused and comforted. Lots of yin and yang, opposites that define each other.

Some are fairly important. Medications, for instance. As you get old and start falling apart (ask me how I know!) there are more and more meds that get taken in the morning, or at meals, or in the evening. They’re important (and in some cases critical) for controlling or preventing some serious conditions such as heart problems, diabetes, cholesterol, and so on.

Some are less important. Yeah, buying groceries every Sunday morning is routine (adverb) and a routine (noun) but will the world end if it gets put off until Monday, or even later, or pushed to Saturday if the Chiefs are playing the early game on Sunday. Hardly.

One of the things I find a bit exhausting is finding the balance every day with the routines vs. spontenaity. The big joker in the deck is “work,” a routine which can really harsh spontenaity’s mellow big time. But let’s not forget how even “fun” stuff can get to be a routine.

For example, this weekend, right after Thanksgiving, is when the Christmas lights go up. And with so, so many other things on the calendar, that time really, REALLY needs to be used for that if we want to put up lights. There just aren’t a lot of other times. And I *DO* want to get the lights up for the season!

But then there’s the humongous Christmas card list. Last year things piled up and we actually didn’t send out cards for the first time in almost 20 years. And I’ve felt bad about it all year.

So this year getting the cards out, while an annual routine, will be a priority. Which is a long, roundabout way of saying, if you’ve gotten cards in the past and you’ve moved in the last two years, let me know ASAP. And if you haven’t gotten cards but want to get on the humongous list and get one, ditto, let me know ASAP.

It’s all coming at us like a freight train. It does that every year.

It’s routine.

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