Think in the morning. Act in the noon. Eat in the evening. Sleep in the night.”

~ William Blake
Jerusalem, 1804 to 1820 ~ art by William Blake

~ How much of our lives do we live in ‘routine’?

Get up early, go to work, do the same *thing(s)* you always do — maybe slightly better or worse on any given day — eat, shit, clean, exercise, wash, watch your programs, {cook? converse? create? love?} — go to sleep. Do it all over again the next day. Human beings are certainly routine-oriented beings; consciously, we crave consistency — we want to know what is going to happen next {at least when it comes to our own non-fictional lives}.

To me, routines are about control. Simply, everyone likes to be in control of their own livelihood in this way — doing the things you always do because you are good at doing them and/or because you simply know how. And you know how they will turn out, generally. I don’t necessarily think this is a bad thing. In many ways, routines are necessary to sustain life. There are few ways for us to live in the constantly-changing, chaotic wilderness. Steady and balanced cohesion within our “material” conditions (i.e. our food, shelter and monies) keeps us sane; a vigorous anarchy within our interpersonal relations, on the other hand — with family, friends and significant others — can and should be… less predictable.

Balance comes in all good things, and so on.

Newton, 1805 ~ William Blake

Routines are born from the conditions of our lives. Modern environments craft this daily grind we all submit ourselves to. There are good routines — healthy rituals, the pleasant sameness of ‘the good life’, the solid results of a cumulative work ethic. And there are bad routines — toxic addictions, life-stifling obsessions, soul-destroying tediums. The former we all wish to craft for ourselves; the latter are cycles we ever wish to escape. There is even something sacred about a good routine.

~ Agent Dale Cooper treating himself to a cup of piping hot black coffee

And while I do submit that obsessions and addictions can be good, they lay upon a knife-edge hanging over the abyss. Especially when they are borne of something external to you — the person whose life they are irreversibly shaping. {Remember folks, time is the most non-renewable resource.} I would argue some form of self-crafted, intrinsic motivation is necessary in all good and healthy things in our lives. Thusly, a good routine should be your own creation, not something crystallized into being out of reaction to the social and economic realm around you, out of either causal ignorance or caused inability to self-motivate this repetitious series in your life.

So about that average throughline of daily routinedom for the modern Man…

The world we live in demands much of our body, mind and Time. Every motion sacrifices another; opportunity costs lay across every threshold. And the choice may not be in our hands.

Food for thought.

For my own life, over the last couple years I have tried to make a point to include certain pillars within my own routine, my daily grind, no matter how inconsistent or turbulent it all may become {now much transformed from only a year ago}.

The 4 things I need to be doing every day, in some form or fashion, no matter what — to feel good:

  1. Reading
  2. Writing
  3. Exercising
  4. Meditating

These are the things that provide me with spiritual nourishment. The goal of any routine, in its totality, is to provide this alongside such life-sustaining materials. ~

The Ancient of Days, 1794 ~ William Blake

“As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.”

~ Henry David Thoreau