A few years ago I wrote that some individuals retire to escape routines yet, paradoxically, routines can form the very framework necessary for happiness in our sunset years. In retirement I recognized the need to shape my days and weeks but decided to replace the uninspiring word ‘routine’ with ‘ritual’. The year 2020 reminded me of the imperative in establishing and maintaining rituals. To coax me into positivity.
Using the right side of my brain I try to be creative in naming them, though readers may notice my (prosaic) penchant for alliteration. From the left — logical — side I choose to work on math. Although the government imposed subtractions to my life, I can devise permissible additions. My summation below gives a dozen rituals that will extend into the new normal. (Please excuse any repetition from prior posts.)
- Movie Mondays. Each week Glen and I watch a new or old movie meant to spark conversation during our in-home date night on Tuesday.
- Takeout Tuesdays. We dress for the occasion that begins with an in-depth discussion of our previous night’s viewing, followed by an order I pick up at a restaurant in our ’hood. Maybe our date is better dubbed Travel Tuesdays since we sample cuisine from around the world. Or Tasty Tuesdays?
- No Wine Wednesdays: we are not oenophiles and want to abstain from Whine Wednesdays.
- TV Thursdays. Given our regularity in watching TV, I can review shows on my blog to write myself into a good mood.
- Fondue Fridays is a retro night as we savoured fondues often in the ’80s. To embellish our table, and to support local arts, I bought Haida designed pieces from the Bill Reid Gallery.
- Staydays don’t necessarily occur on Saturdays or Sundays. This spring I will revise my list of places, new and familiar, for a day’s excursion.
- Grandboys Book Club. Every other night I pinch hit for my son-in-law by reading on FaceTime to our young grandsons at their bedtime.
- In a January post I celebrated forest bathing; it ranks near the top of ongoing habits.
- Having discovered comfortable benches amid nature, I will read outdoors again when the weather obliges. (Of course hardy individuals will ask why not now?)
- Like 300 million others, I talk on Zoom with my friends and family from near and far. Zoom currently substitutes for our family reunions, which could prove ambitious to orchestrate even in pre-pandemic times.
- A former yoga partner challenged us to resume the practice. Now I follow an instructor twice weekly to improve my flexibility and strength while being cognizant of Pranayama.
- Reconnecting, serendipitously, with schoolmates of 50+ years ago has boosted my social engagement. And the distant past occupying space in my present feels right.
Glen and I conclude our evenings with a cup of naturally caffeine free tea, as a sleep aid and to shop local at Murchie’s — proudly Canadian since 1894. •
P.S. It’s also beneficial to indulge in nothing, yes, in a healthy ritual of doing nothing. The modern malady of ‘idleness aversion’ no longer ails me.
P.P.S. Please share in the comments below your rituals of 2020 that will continue in 2021 and beyond.