Question 249 of 365: Why do routines win?

Nearly every night I throw my son’s diapers into the wash. They are gDiapers, which are kind of like the hybrid of the diaper industry. They are machine washable, but allow for disposable inserts. I take apart the liners and seal up the outer casing before starting the high heat, two rinse cycle that they require. This kind of a ritual is only interesting to me. For most, it is incredibly gross to everyone else.

This is the stuff of my everyday life. The moments that occur so often that I don’t even think about them. They don’t require analysis or improvisation. They require a steady dedication to the task and a regularity that keeps it in the subtle background of my life. Doing my son’s diapers is one of the times that I can think aboutother things and let my hands do the same repetitive gesture that leads to cleanliness.

And these actions win.

Not because they are interesting or worth doing other than for their purely utilitarian use. They win because they comfort the world inside of us that requires some order and vigilance to being in charge of our own actions. They are the trust we put into the things around us for permanency and understanding.

Because as we travel and see novelty, we are left without the feeling that nothing is in our control. We feel out of place when we leave the we tasks behind, as if we are living out of a constantly shifting suitcase of a life that never seems to have the same clothes in it.

We hwve expectations for our routines that they keep us safely involved in our lives. And we take part, not out of obligation, but out of pride. We are proud of doing diapers and brushing teeth. We are proud of getting ourselves dressed everyday, or having a cup of coffee. These are the things that ooze a love for the life we have created, rather than one we wish we had.

Sure, it can be boring. But, only in the third person. In the first person, it is the way we measure out our lifes.

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