The Blessing of Routine

Recently I received an e-mail asking me to describe myself by answering a series of questions then send it to all my friends so they could learn something new about me.

Hmmm. You think they really want to know what my favorite color is? Favorite movie? Favorite song or what I do when I get bored? Strangely enough someone did. I got a quick return e-mail concerning my answer on boredom to which I had stated: “I am never bored!” My friend wanted to know if that was really true. Well, yes! I am never bored because I have found there are blessings in routine and beauty in the ordinary.

 

My life goes in a fairly predictable pattern since my adult son with Down syndrome lives at home. Because of his heart disease and compromised immune system, Jay is unable to work in the community or any other type of workplace. He is home all day, everyday, with Mom. (Now that might be boring.) He fills his day with things that interest him – perusing the morning newspaper, watching special programs on TV, a daily trip to Sonic for a Coke and he often rents videos. At times he may rearrange his collection of 200 plus neckties, listen to music – even sing along – or play a board game with me. And he is always counting the days until his favorite TV program comes on – WWE Friday Night Smackdown!

 

While Jay is busy with his interests I write stories and do all the mundane things around the house that everyone else does like laundry, cleaning and cooking. I even venture onto the dreaded treadmill while watching Oprah. And yes, I do sometimes wonder what it would be like to hop on a plane and spend a week or a month in Italy, Spain or even Corpus Christi, Texas. But then I remember the times my son was extremely ill and in the hospital and all I could think of was how great it would be to hear him singing in the next room or to take our daily trip to Sonic.

 

I longed for the routine of the day. Just the thought of loading the dishwasher after an uneventful meal seemed like heaven compared to sitting in that hospital room where Jay was hooked up to IVs and oxygen. Some of you are probably thinking, “Well, yeah, but those are exceptions, not the norm.” Unfortunately, for some it is the norm. But even if it is not, those frightening interruptions in life – illness, accident, divorce, death, depression, disability, chronic pain – all serve to remind us that there is joy in the ordinary. There are blessings in the routine of our days whether they are spent at home, the office, traveling, caring for a loved one or writing a story.

 

When my husband calls at noon and offers to bring me lunch, it’s a blessing. When I receive an unexpected card or letter in the mail, it is a blessing. When my oldest son calls to tell me how his day is going, it’s a blessing. When Jay says or does something so funny that we both get a huge belly laugh, it’s a blessing. When I sit at my window and watch the squirrels play and the birds nibble on the morsels of bread I just put out for them, that too is a blessing.
Learning to find joy in the ordinary, everyday, run-of-the-mill stuff is a gift you give yourself. It is healing to the heart and soul. And yes, special events and trips are fun, but what do most of us enjoy most about vacations? Getting home! Yep, I’m betting that if you take a close look at your own life you too will find blessings in your routine and beauty in the
ordinary. Try it! 

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