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Thread: Daily Routines

  1. #1
    Senior Member Geila's Avatar
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    Daily Routines

    Part of the reason I started the daily list thread is that I've had a hard time establishing a regular daily routine. After many, many years of working and having a strict schedule, I suddenly found myself with the intoxicating freedom of getting to do anything I want, whenever I want. And it was good. Oh, the joy of sleeping in and lounging around all day!

    But now it's been a while and I'm wanting to build structure into my life. Too much of a good thing. Instead of having to decide what to do every day, I'd like to have a daily routine that is automatic and doesn't require me to figure things out over and over. It gets tiring and is inefficient. And more often than I'd like, inertia takes over and I end up feeling like I wasted the whole day. On those days I miss the feelings of accomplishment that come from achieving goals and time well spent.

    I've also been reading quite a bit about how soothing and nurturing a daily routine can be. How it can bring order and peace when life becomes stormy. I'd like that.

    Do you have a daily routine? Or do you let the day unfold on it's own?

  2. #2
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geila View Post
    Do you have a daily routine? Or do you let the day unfold on it's own?
    Yes.

    Actually, the mornings are fairly routine-driven. Wake up, let out the dog, get coffee, feed the dog, let out the dog again, wake DW, read email/catch up on Web sites, make breakfast, take my morning meds, clean up after breakfast (coffeemaker, run dishwasher if needed, etc.). Nighttime offers a somewhat similar routine -- set up coffee, get the dog outside one last time, put what can go in the dishwasher in the dishwasher, take my evening meds, and make sure doors are locked and lights are off before I go to bed.

    No other housekeeping chore is on a regular schedule; they get done when they need to be done. Sometimes I prep and cook dinner and sometimes we eat leftovers. The dog has her own schedule, so that varies. I also am "on call" for a number of other people: the grandkids in case one of them gets sick at day care; my mom and brother in case they need an errand run or something in their place fixed; DW in case she needs something mailed out or something else done around the house; my neighbors to watch for packages or clear snow while they're away on vacation; etc. And some tasks need to be fit in where they can: I can clean the bathroom when it's dark or raining out but I can't mow the lawn at those times. It's not sensible here to establish "every Monday morning" as lawn cutting time.

    It's one reason I maintain a long to-do list, only a few items which merit dates (the ones which have real hard deadlines).
    Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. - Booker T. Washington

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    Quote Originally Posted by Geila View Post
    I've also been reading quite a bit about how soothing and nurturing a daily routine can be. How it can bring order and peace when life becomes stormy. I'd like that. Do you have a daily routine? Or do you let the day unfold on it's own?
    Mom always told me to have each category a day of the week. She has done that since she married Dad in 1948 and she kept it up until she died in 2007.
    IE: Laundry day, baking day, shopping day, houseclean day, sewing/mending/knitting whatever day, gardening/yard day. 1 day is free.

    She never spent ALL day on any of it but once the task was done the day was hers aside from meals. (she raised 6 kids and we didn't have a W/D in the house until 1968 (we had a ringer outside by the clothesline, nor a dishwasher until 1971 when Dad moved us.)

    Mom always thought all our machines and gizmos made the lives of her girls much more complicated and more work than her life ever was. These were interesting conversations. And here we thought it was easier because we had jobs outside home.

    I like the idea and I am practicing right now while I'm my surgical FMLA. Yesterday was laundry day. Today was grocery store (the only shopping I do!) Tomorrow I will dust and clean the bathroom-spread over the day. Saturday I will spend a bit of time in the gardens. When I can, I will be adding a daily cool morning walk.

    We live near a river that runs through town and under normal circumstances, I can get to river's edge in 5 minutes. 1 thing I will truly relish when I retire is a daily walk by the river! I've got a 3.5 mile loop and a 5 mile loop I love. But I can't do that after an 11-13 hour work day.

    My sister retired 4y ago. She says she needs to have a daily to-do list to keep herself oriented. She does walk nearly every day 2-5 miles and she goes to a gym 2x/week (required by her Medigap insurance she gets a periodic phone call to ask if she's going. i think that's great!

    Can't wait to hear what others say and what you decide to do.

  4. #4
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    I do have a morning routine. Up- generally when I wake up around 7:30 or 8. Dress, wash face, take med., set up coffee, do stretches, turn on coffee for last set of stretches (it's my reward!) 1 page in a journal, some readings, work on some writing most days, make my breakfast, check on the email etc. It can take several hours or I can hurry it up. I find it settling and pleasurable. Spring, summer and fall I do my writing and coffee drinking on the porch where I watch the birds and breathe.

  5. #5
    Senior Member rosarugosa's Avatar
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    I think we have a good morning routine since my retirement (DH still works part-time). We get up at 5 and have coffee, and that is when I check SLF, FB, e-mail, etc. We then go for a 2.5 - 3 mile walk, weather permitting. We come home and have breakfast and DH gets ready for work, departing by 9:30. I was walking my little dog buddy 11:30 - 12:30, but I've been trying out pushing that up to 10 - 11, or 10:30 - 11:30, so I can have a larger chunk of uninterrupted time at home. The dog walking definitely impedes my flow, but it confers so many benefits, I need to make it work. I'm just not getting as much done at home as I would have expected.

  6. #6
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rosarugosa View Post
    I think we have a good morning routine since my retirement (DH still works part-time). We get up at 5 and have coffee, and that is when I check SLF, FB, e-mail, etc. We then go for a 2.5 - 3 mile walk, weather permitting. We come home and have breakfast and DH gets ready for work, departing by 9:30. I was walking my little dog buddy 11:30 - 12:30, but I've been trying out pushing that up to 10 - 11, or 10:30 - 11:30, so I can have a larger chunk of uninterrupted time at home. The dog walking definitely impedes my flow, but it confers so many benefits, I need to make it work. I'm just not getting as much done at home as I would have expected.
    Wow. You are doing a LOT of walking, between walking the dog and walking DH. . Do you have a Fitbit? You'd be burning it up! One of the reasons I'm not rushing to get another dog is for the reason you state. A dog inserts its routine into yours. When I had my dog, my daily routine started with getting dressed and walking her. Now it starts with my hanging around in my robe for a couple of hours working or doing other assorted tasks.

    I've also found that not having a dog gives me more time for gardening. It's almost like I can only care for one living thing at a time. If I had a dog and a garden, the garden might suffer because I have so much work I HAVE to do, I'd run out of time.

    I'm more of a "let the day unfold" kind of person, but I do like routines. At my aunt's summer cottage the whole day was a routine: from getting up in the morning, dressing, making a huge breakfast served on Victorian china, cleaning the kitchen, going "up town" for groceries, coming home, making "dinner"--we had our main meal at noon, cleaning up the kitchen, then I would go to the beach and hang out with friends while my aunt watched soap operas, and I'd spend other afternoon time reading or sewing. Then we would have a light supper in front of the TV and watch 60s shows until 10. Then go to bed. Next day, rinse and repeat.

    I like the idea of household chores being split up like Gardnr's mom did it. I tried Flylady for a while, but I just fell out of it.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  7. #7
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    My routine is wakeup at approx 5, have prayer and meditation, breakfast for both dog and myself, shower alternate mornings, make bed, walk dog for an hour. If laundry or dishwasher needs to run, I include that before 7am on weekdays due to time-of-use electricity rate. I try to plan my meals the evening before so defrost, precook beans, rice or pasta etc.
    Gardening is usually done in the evenings. Watering is done really early morning or early evening.
    Dog walk in evening.

    I have a to-do list that gets everything put on it and updated on Mondays.

    Days of week:
    I have commitments on Wednesday afternoons and Thursdays are my usual shopping days.
    Garbage gets organized for pickup on Fridays.
    Vacuuming and cleaning house are done on Saturdays.

    Church on Sundays and relaxation in the afternoon.

    Gella, I found that I need structure to my week or I drift as you mentioned. Walking the dog really helps gives me that. A friend finds that simply planning a daily walk by herself for about 3 miles gives her structure and health. It doesn't have to be that long a walk but an hour commitment to oneself would help.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  8. #8
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    Since retiring, I am slowly developing a kind of routine. It takes a while to get used to the freedom. The big time waster for me is staying away from the internet so I allow myself thirty minutes in the morning to do that while I drink my first cup of coffee. I never have breakfast before 9a. Wednesday is always grocery day. I just like to get certain things done every day - house, something creative, garden, admin, walk - but not to a strict schedule. I never schedule an appt before 10a anymore.

  9. #9
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    I take care of dogs in morning and night and coffee and newspaper in the morning. No appointments before 11. I will definitely drop any household tasks to go have fun with someone. The joy of retirement is to be spontaneous. I find time to do all my chores on a weekly basis and also to teach my class. For many years my life was scheduled but not anymore. I used to have so many physical objects to dust etc but think that decluttering has given me so much time back. It is a big change for me because I used to be such a collector of stuff.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Geila's Avatar
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    I guess I do have some daily routines. Mornings I wake up early and open up the whole house to let in the fresh cool air and let the dogs out. Then we all curl up on the couch with a blanket and go back to sleep. About 8, I get up and make fresh coffee and breakfast, I feed the pets and spend a bit of time online. Then I unload the dishwasher and make a mental note of what needs doing and plan accordingly. In the late afternoon/early evening I feed the pets again, prepare dinner. After dinner I clean up, prep coffeemaker for dh, pack dh's lunch, wipe down all the kitchen counters and tidy up, wash out the sink, take out the trash and run the dishwasher. I always like to end the day with a clean kitchen.

    What is highly unproductive and unscheduled is the big chunk of the day in between. Ideally, I would like to have the morning time be used for household work and the afternoon be for fun. Evenings would be nice to be spent in other ways besides watching tv.

    razz - your daily routine sounds just like what I would like to have for myself!

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