Rev. Catharine Is Currently
On Medical Leave

Blessed Routine

Blessed Routine

Today’s blog may resonate with you or it may not—in a way, that’s always true. Today, I am aware of it because I feel vulnerable writing about this topic. I begin (below) with boredom, but really the topic is chaos. The felt need to have chaos in order to be interesting, worthwhile, unique, special…



To be boring!

These two conditions were, if not the worst things I could imagine, nevertheless two of my greatest fears as I grew up and into early adulthood.

I longed always to be special, unique, irreplaceable. (Of course, as you’ve already said in your mind, we are all always all of those things, but I couldn’t get there, not when I was being terrorized by thoughts of being boring.)

And so I avoided anything that brought along boredom or even the threat of boredom along with it:  Housework, budgeting, laundry, schedules and planning.

I only touched these things when I absolutely had to—when I could no longer bear the shame of my house, and I was having people over for Thanksgiving, for example.

But see, it’s not avoiding housework that makes us special. (This is probably obvious to all of you, but it wasn’t to me.)

It’s not spending every available moment on adventure that makes one unique.

It’s not staying up late and insisting on strangeness that makes us powerful.

We are beautiful expressions of the Spirit of Life at any age. At the ages when we’re trying on identities quick as mercury. At the ages when we’ve learned some lessons from settling down and settling in. At the ages when we experience everything we do under the eye of mortality.

We are the children of Earth and Starry Heaven. We are children of God, of the Universe, of the greatest creative forces there are.

And doing things we don’t enjoy need not make us any less ourselves. In my case, this means that tidying my desk doesn’t make me any less a tiara-wearing princess.

Learning about money and being responsible for its coming in and going out hasn’t transformed me into someone I’m not.

Washing my clothes—well, I still kind of avoid that, but not because I’m afraid, just because baskets are heavy.

But finally, having a regular schedule has, in fact, transformed me. It has allowed me to feel safer and more resilient. To cultivate peace in my life and household.

Routine has made room for my altar time, for the candles burning right now next to me as I write.

Routine has made room for rest and food and meds to happen when they need to, without my having to hunt down the thoughts to find the things I need.

Finally, routine has let me know that it is precisely by having structure that I can be free to work and write and paint and sing and create within the forms of my day. Much like a Baroque invention or a jazz improvisation, it is precisely the limitations that allow for wild creativity.

So today I will live into the more and more familiar shape of my days. I will drink my coffee, eat my lunch, sing again at my altar, and continue to write to YOU.

How does this resonate with you?

Are you a chaos magnet? Or does structure come easily? Where do you fall on this continuum?

2 Responses

  1. Catharine, this resonates with me deeply. I am a person for whom structure has come very easily in the past but I find myself resisting putting healthier routines in place even knowing how useful they are.

  2. Mary – I’m interested in why you think they might be more difficult now. In my history, it’s often been for lack of gentleness.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.