Thursday, April 23, 2020

Rhythms and Routines

   I think it is the very nature of humans to enjoy life with rhythms and routines.  After all we have the circadian rhythm built in to regulate our wake and sleeping hours.   Disruption of our routines can be unsettling.  Here I am today continuing to adjust to the end of ski season transition from one routine to another.  And on top of that with the pandemic I am isolating myself from my usual off season volunteering activities.
      During the ski season I enjoy six days a week on  ski slope.  I awake with thoughts of  preparations for the day.  Breakfast is  followed by loading my warmed ski boots into my bag along with my coffee break fritter.   Also, I make sure I am using the last bit of heat yesterday's hand warmers taken from the sealed plastic bag in the freezer.  Yes, I grew up being frugal  from  living with my depression era parents on a farm.  The daily routing requires checking the weather conditions and selecting the appropriate number of layers.   The ten minute ride to the slope is sweetened with either Sirius musical oldies or Morning Edition on NPR.  Arrival is planned to be by 9:00 AM or earlier to be sure to be one of the first on the lift a half hour later. Locker room banter with fellow geezer skiers is a bonus.
     The morning skiing is appropriately interrupted with a coffee break.  Breaks can last from 15 to 45 minutes depending on where the geezer stories lead.   By noon or so, many of us are ready to head home for our lunch and  afternoon naps.  On the really good days we continue into the afternoon.
   After arriving home in the early afternoon, I have a number or tasks to fill my day.   One task upon arriving home is to record my ski data for the day.   Time of departure and return, weather conditions, ski conditions and number of runs get written on my calendar.   This year I have been using an iPhone App Ski Tracks to record more information which includes speed,  feet vertical and other aspects of the day.   In the afternoon , reading the paper, crossword puzzle solving  and napping are satisfying.   Our evenings are filled with some favorite TV programs, conversation and reading.  From all this you are probably bored by my illustrations so here are some other thoughts. 
       After the abrupt end of the ski season and the conditions of the pandemic, I have struggled to find rhythm and routine.   I think this is especially true now that we have to practice social distancing to prevent contracting a lethal infection.  As we well know the geezers are a vulnerable group.   My current routine aims at avoiding potentially infectious agents.    Fortunately, I am finding an alternative routine to fill my day with at least some meaningful activity both physical and mental.  An hour on a recumbent stationary bike is helpful to get the blood flowing and on good day a 10 to 20 mile ride on an E-bike gets me into the fresh air.   Crossword puzzles stimulate my brain and there is an ample supply of books to read.   Needless to say, a lot of chores around the house are getting done.   Somewhere I read that it takes 21 days to form a new habit or shed an old one.  I think that concept applies to getting used to a new routine.   However, now 38 days into the transition I feel like I just beginning to get the hang of it.
      On the slopes one of the greatest joys is getting into a rhythm of well executed turns while dancing down the mountain.  Perhaps that is a model for the new days we are experiencing.   We need to find a sweet spot of activities and connections that feeds our soul and enhances the appreciation of the passing days, weeks, months and years. 

1 comment:

Pat and Bev said...

Gerry another great post. This quarantine has given me the opportunity to learn some Tai Chi. I have long been memorized by watching others perform it. I'm finding that I really enjoy it. Adding a few new moves every couple of days.