Routine vs. Regimen

rou•tine [roo-teen]
noun
1. a customary or regular course of procedure.
2. commonplace tasks, chores, or duties as must be done regularly or at specified intervals; typical or everyday activity: the routine of an office.
3. regular, unvarying, habitual, unimaginative, or rote procedure.
reg•i•men
[rej-uh-muhn, -men, rezh-]
noun

1. Medicine/Medical: a regulated course, as of diet, exercise, or manner of living, intended to preserve or restore health orto attain some result.
2. a systematic plan (as of diet, therapy, or medication) especially when designed to improve and maintain the health of a patient.
I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions but after spending midnight meditating I realized that I need to make some changes. I could definitely use more peace in my life — specifically, stillness — and I need to be more productive. I brought home my little Poodle, Scribble, after Playa Restoration not only because I missed animal companionship; I felt the need for responsibility. I wanted to be responsible for something. My life is so unconventional — you know, with all this “living’ the dream” freedom and such — I long for structure. My work for Burning Man provides it, but only for three months out of the year. We get up every morning for a 7am meeting, have breakfast and do our jobs. It’s almost as disciplined as the military. Once that work ends I find myself yearning for more routine, more…regimentation.
So I decided, in my moment or two of “Zen,” that I would give my life a bit more structure. I hate the sound of the word “routine” — I mean, unimaginative? — and “regimen”; they both conjure boredom and drudgery. I’m sorry to say that all this motherfucking freedom has resulted in far more boredom and, yes, drudgery than those 90 days of 7am meetings. I would even welcome a job, not only for the early rising and all that shit but to have a reason to wear something other than pajamas and gym clothes. But I digress.
In order to give my life structure I came up with a “routine” or a “regimen,” if you will. My month of “no pants” felt like an achievement, if only of something as insignificant as not wearing pants. I had maintained focus. For one full month. What can I focus on and manage to maintain throughout the year?
I need to make living my life more like a job. So I came up with specific “tasks” to complete on a daily basis, just as I would have if I went into an office every day. Well, almost. The obvious difference being that no one’s paying me. Also none of my tasks are too terribly…strenuous. But at least they may give me some sense of accomplishment.
Here is my list of daily tasks:
1. Meditate: I want to start with 20 minutes each morning, advance to 30 minutes and ideally shoot for 30 minutes in the morning and evening.
2. Exercise: I already work out pretty much every other day. I’d like to make that every day or at least five out of seven. Add in daily sun salutations, in keeping with my, you know, move toward spirituality and enlightenment and shit. Hah!
3. Writing: I ‘d like this to mean a bit more than mere blogging because all my goddamn navel gazing ain’t gettin’ me anywhere. I have so many ideas for projects and make absolutely no progress on them because I am so easily distracted. I can literally waste an entire day playing Sudoku and Scrabble. Must. Restrain. Myself.
4. Watch less TV: I don’t really watch TV, necessarily, I often just listen to it. Mediocre network programming drones in the background while I (unsuccessfully) attempt to focus. This has gotta stop. Realistically, that means limiting myself to my usual two hours of “The View,” “Jeopardy” and “Wheel of Fortune.” Throw in a crime show now and then and I should be okay.
5. Home maintenance: Aside from ordinary daily upkeep, I still haven’t unpacked all the crap that I put into storage. I’d like to divest myself of more crap, get rid of my extra storage space (do I really need TWO?!) and complete the process of moving “back into” my apartment.
I realize that these aren’t exactly the loftiest of goals. I don’t want to set myself up for failure. And I know there will be things that get in the way, especially socializing. Manhattan offers so many ways to keep busy and I take advantage of them all! Last night I wound up with friends here for a few hours that should’ve been spent writing. Ah, the best laid plans…
Anyway, I will blog about my progress, which will no doubt prove to be stultifyingly dull. Bear with my boring drudgery! Or skip over it. Don’t despair; I plan to continue blogging about all my other, usual things. But hopefully, something good will come of my self control.
Day 1: January 11
1. 20 minutes of meditating
2. 90 minutes working out
3. Only blogging…
4. Successfully restricted myself to my “TV Diet.”
5. Took down the Christmas tree, swept most of the apartment, did two loads of laundry.
A fine day! (Okay, I’ll try not to be tooooo chirpy!)
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2 responses to “Routine vs. Regimen

  1. Writing! that sounds like a great idea, you definitely have style and talent. Heck, with a little luck and effort, that might even get you paid someday.
    I’d call you a hippie for the meditating part, except I am doing some of that too, so I’ll stfu.
    cheers!

  2. Thank you, Cat, and once upon a time I actually made a LIVING writing and editing! Can you imagine THAT? Sigh. Sure it sounds like a great idea because it is what I’ve been doing for decades. Now if someone would just pay me…

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