Of all the changes in my character since I’ve become a father (and there are many), none seems so violently opposite to the way I was before than my newfound respect for routine.
I hated routine. I considered it to be the death of inspiration, the dead-end of creativity and the rut into which all must fall eventually, therein to stay for the rest of their days, endlessly performing the same vacuous rituals in a sad and desperate attempt to find meaning.
Yeah. I wasn’t pro-routine.
The other day I was explaining how we managed life with two daughters to a friend of mine who is a more recent dad than I.
I was trying to toe that delicate line between telling someone what you’ve found that works for you, because it might be helpful, while desperately trying to not sound like you’re handing out advice. As a parent, everyone wants to give you advice. Especially non-parents. It’s exhausting. So I try not to do it too much.
Suddenly, it was as though I was having an out-of-body experience. I could hear myself speaking, but there was no way the words could possibly be coming from my own mouth.
I was praising the virtues of routine. Explaining how we put the girls to bed at exactly the same time every evening. How once the evening routine started, we had to execute it exactly the same way every night, and it more or less guaranteed that the girls would be asleep in a few moments.
I explained, with enthusiasm and pride that we had been doing this for over a year.
Clearly I’ve been possessed and need an exorcism.Continue reading “The Power of Routine”