Blessed Routine

The other day a friend was telling me she was missing her daily routine. This was due to some health problems. We agreed that we take our daily routine for granted. Sometimes we even feel life is one monotonous routine, doing the same things day in and day out. Time flies. We understand the importance of our routine when we are not able to follow it.

These thoughts came to mind when I saw my father-in-law still following his daily routine; morning bath, prayers, breakfast, going to the areca garden, picking fallen areca and so on. He is 91. Other than poor eyesight in one eye he is able to do what he has been doing for years. The words ‘blessed routine’ came to mind. At his age health problems might have made it impossible for him to follow his routine. He has been an agriculturist all his life. Even now he goes to his areca garden to pick ripe areca nuts and bring them back. Touch wood.

Other than our basic routines we change many of our daily activities as we grow with life. Some interests remain a part of our lives and others we discard. We take our daily routines so much for granted that we do not even realize when they  stopped being a part of our lives. One day we think, ‘when did we stop doing that?’

The words ‘blessed routine’ turned my thoughts to my father. He has dementia and is bed ridden since February. He is not able to speak now but he understands when my mother speaks to him. She is there for him, speaking to him, reading to him. He is lucky to have the loving support of my brother and family. My father is 85. He had a regular routine which he followed without fail. My father may not have stopped his daily routines by choice, he must have forgotten about them for a few days. They remained forgotten. He had subscribed by mail The New York Times. He used to enjoying reading it. I remember my mother telling me last year that he was not checking his mail or even switching on the computer. He had started telling he could not remember how to connect. We thought this was due to his failing eyesight. My father has always been a quiet person, going about his work quietly. Every morning he used to do floor exercises. Crosswords and Sudoku were an important part of his daily life. He stopped crosswords first. His daily routine was being taken away from him. I don’t know whether he ever thought about it. We will never know.

Our daily routines are blessed routines because they make it possible for us to be what we are till the end. This makes me think of all those places in the world where there is so much violence. It is like a daily routine there. Violence for the sake of violence has been and will always be a part of human life. A sad truth. Definitely not blessed routine.

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( my father-in-law reading his prayer book in the morning)

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