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Routine

Since emerging from the basement and returning to work last week, I’ve been trying desperately to reassert discipline and to restore routine in my life. Repentance is a hallmark of the month of Elul, which carries us to the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah. But it’s only the second day of Elul, so I’ll refrain from dwelling on failures and instead celebrate the incremental changes I’ve made to my daily routine.

The writer’s notebook that lay abandoned and empty most of the summer is now tethered by both my hands, held open by the right while the left fills its pages with barely legible notes. Alternatively, it is propped open on my desk, its four corners weighted down by random objects—a three-hole punch, a tape dispenser, a broken cell phone and a ceramic mug filled with pens. Extracting ideas from my brain and crafting them into words, phrases and, finally, sentences takes time. I’ve succeeded, most days, by clearing my calendar of meetings to allow for hours of sitting with my notebook, alone, in silence.

luna on couch webWhile the afternoons are still hot and humid, the morning hours after I drop my son at school are generally cool and pleasant. I take advantage of this recent change in weather, walking with Luna while my thoughts incubate. After two miles, our energy spent, we are ready to sit still with our legs stretched along the length of the couch.

Summoning the self-discipline to reestablish routine isn’t easy for me. I remember the good habits that I developed last winter, at the beginning of the secular year, when I joined the My500Words challenge in January. Setting the phone to silent, shutting down the Internet, ignoring the laundry, resisting the temptation to run errands and meet friends for lunch, I return to my routine.

 

 

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