Routine Shift

“Variety is the spice of life, but routine is the essence of life.”

This is a quote from Joe, a recovering alcoholic I knew in my teen years.  He was an interesting man and I learned much about life from him.  It’s come to my mind today because my daily routine is shifting.  Despite my objections, I now have to spend a little more time caring for my body.  Each day I gain a new appreciation for the old adage, “If you have your health, you have everything.”

Oh, I could fill this whole post with little one-liners and seem very wise.  It’s not how I feel.  Honestly, I feel a bit frustrated about it today.  There are so many things I’d like to do with such limited time.  And now with a new medical diagnosis, I have to shift my routine again.  I don’t want it to, but it does change the essence of who I am and adds to an ever-growing list of small concerns.

The routine that has changed now is bed time.  There is putting the cats in their room, turning out lights, checking doors, brushing teeth, PJs, pillows, and a bit of reading.  Now, I add CPAP, check the machine, strap on the mask and put my head down without tangling myself in the hose.  Millions of people do it each night, but it’s annoying to have that one more thing to do.

Mornings have changed too, as before I even swing my legs out of bed there is a hose, a mask and a machine to deal with.

My mind rebels with the thought, “Not the life I want.” It’s similar to the thought I had when the doctor called to tell me I had cancer, “Not the journey I want to take.”

How often in life are we forced down a path we don’t chose?

Still, in everything there is some good.  After the mask comes off, I have more energy than I had before.  There’s been no more foot pain since starting with my new footwear.


Shower, shave, dress.  Clean the litter boxes and vacuum the carpet.  Go to the workshop for a little creative time. Make a cup of tea and sit at the keyboard and write.

Such are the routines I’ve done today.  Soon I’ll have to add six month checkups at the sleep clinic to the list of routine health care that includes the dentist, blood tests and my semiannual reminder that I had radiation treatments.

So the question in my mind tonight is, “How to maintain creativity as a part of my routine?”  As part of my life, as part of my essence?

I have no answers tonight.  All I do know is that it’s Sunday and time to write and that is the routine I choose, the essence I wish to have at my core.

Till next week,

About Andrew Reynolds

Born in California Did the school thing studying electronics, computers, release engineering and literary criticism. I worked in the high tech world doing software release engineering and am now retired. Then I got prostate cancer. Now I am a blogger and work in my wood shop doing scroll saw work and marquetry.
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34 Responses to Routine Shift

  1. A friend of mine started using a CPAP machine a few weeks ago and, although it is frustrating to fit each night, he won’t do without it and has apparently never slept so well, whilst he has energy in the days that he never had before.


  2. artseafartsea says:

    More power to you! 🙂


  3. dorannrule says:

    Don’t let the routine changes get you down Andrew! I started off hating the Big Foot Boot but beginning to appreciate it after 6 weeks and may even miss it if I am ever told to put it aside.


    • A friend of mine has been on a CPAP for many years and said a similar thing – he really notices it when he doesn’t use it at night. The getting started is always the hard part.


  4. Debra says:

    I hope that soon the CPAP will feel less of an obstacle and more of a friend. If it’s giving you more energy, it would seem that in time it will even aid in your creativity. As you continue to feel even better, and I think that will happen, I suspect you’ll make peace with those wires and hoses! It’s terrific to hear that the neuropathy is greatly reduced. At least the evidence is that it is working for you. Transition and adjustment periods are rarely easy! I like my routines, too, and I don’t like them “messed” with either. I’m sorry for the inconvenience, but very glad you’re taking care of yourself!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Susanne says:

    You really touched a lot of nerves with this post, Andrew. I don’t believe there is such a thing as aging gracefully. We have to do exactly as you do – adjust our routines so we can keep doing the things we love. Fight the apathy and atrophy. stretch and strengthen and loosen and moisten all the parts that need the TLC. Let go of the junk that really doesn’t matter (cleaning the house in my case) and concentrate on things that bring real happiness, like creativity. Bravo to you!


  6. Annika Perry says:

    Andrew, I’m glad the CPAP seems to be working and re-ernegising you. Also great that your foot pain is better. I used to hate routines but now started to sort of like them, seeing them as the basis for everything else, including the creative! Yep, problem is always new routines get added in and new adjustments have to be made.


    • Sometimes a routine is actually comforting in a way. Properly done they can give us a solid rock to stand on while doing other things. It’s only been the last few years that I’ve realized that being creative can be a routine. Oh no, I feel a new blog post coming on. Must sit for a moment… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Carrie Rubin says:

    It’s frustrating when our bodies don’t do what we want them to do or when they mess with our routine. And, as you discovered, force a new routine. I’m glad you’re getting better sleep. That will hopefully help keep your creative schedule on track. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very frustrating, but we’re fortunate live in a world where medical science can help. Without all the advances, I likely would have died years ago. As it is, this just a distraction and I’ll be back on track soon, after all I have this poetry collection to edit and get published.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Allan G. Smorra says:

    Thanks for sharing what’s on your mind with us, Andrew. Mick Jagger said, “You can’t always get what you want.” I figure that if Mick can’t get what he wants, then I don’t stand a chance….

    Seriously tho, these days the old saying, “Bend like a Willow, or snap like an Oak”, becomes more and more a way of life—and at least we have life (at least for today).


  9. I love the honesty of your post Andrew. So real. I’m always suspect of bloggers who appear to be perpetually upbeat… But then you might have guessed that. 🙂

    Life is very often a struggle, and then you add an aging body on top of it and all hell can break loose. I like to remember that we are not alone in trying to adjust physically, mentally and spiritually to the demands made by aging. Generations before us have had to come to terms with it and it isn’t easy. And some people just give up, become bitter and zombie walk through the time they have left. I do NOT see that happening with you my blogging friend! You have a lust for life that comes through very clearly in your writing and I highly suspect that the phrase, “You can’t keep a good man down.” applies to you.

    So take some time to adjust and give yourself the grace to be human for a couple of days. Then use that new found energy to continue writing that book, those short stories, doing that woodwork “stuff” and planning new adventures! We’ve got your back…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for you kind words. I have decided not to age gracefully, I am going to fight to live life to the full all the way. But, I do reserve the right to complain about it from time to time. After all, life is about adjustment and adapting – you do as much as you can with the tools and skill you have.

      and I value honesty to myself. I figure my readers deserve no less.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Think of your creative outlets as staycations from routine–your woodworking, your writing. A little break from the norm.

    I nodded along with you as I read your post. Me too me too. Not the machine, but the routines that seep into my life as I get older. Sigh.


  11. The quotation that comes back to me on an almost daily basis now is Bette Davis’s legendary ‘Old age is not for sissies’. But that’s me. You’re (as far as I can see from your picture) are a spring chicken! So please don’t feel down. And keep the vision, whatever you do. Keep the vision!


    • I know what you mean. I am one of those guys with a baby face. Most guess my age at about 10 years younger than I really am, but in the grand scheme I am still just a pup.


  12. davidprosser says:

    I’d say the essence of you is the craftsman Andrew.No matter how your external routines change and you change to fit them in, nothing will alter the creative, craftsman part of you. You will adjust and always find time for those things that balance you as a person.


  13. jfwknifton says:

    I’ve learnt that life is just a question of accepting what you are given and making the best of it. Besides, very few of the rich and healthy people are happy with their lot!


  14. kritsayvonne says:

    A one liner from a dear old friend of mine often comes back to me and now it seems appropriate to share it…
    The aging process is unpleasant in so many ways, but better than the alternative.



  15. PiedType says:

    Maintain creativity? I’ve no doubt you’ll maintain it, one way or another. It’s an integral part of you. You may have a bit less time for it, or an altered schedule or routine. But it’s in there; it won’t be denied.


  16. Very poignant, Andrew. Ageing is tricky, and getting older with one or more medial conditions is even trickier. Keep writing. I, and the world, will benefit from your posts. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

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