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Friday, August 10, 2012

#71 Routines

A routine double play is only routine
because the shortstop and second
baseman have been turning them for
so long that they look routine
Photo: U.S. Navy by Ensign Caleb White
Continuing with the 100 life-enriching little nuances series …
Last Saturday was a nearly perfect day.

I slept in, which felt nice.

After showering, I spent some time reading Psalms 142-144, focusing on these two verses: “I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that you have done; I ponder the work of your hands” (Psalm 143:5) and “Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift my soul” (Psalm 143:8).

It was a good combination of looking back at what God has done in my life while also trusting him as I move forward.

The heat wave finally subsided so I was able to take a walk outside, which reminded me how much I missed walking and that, coupled with a blood sugar that has been too high, sparked a renewed interest in a walking routine again – even if that means walking indoors due to the high temperatures. I have since set a goal to walk 100 miles before the end of the year and I’ve invited others to join me. So far, four others have.

As I walked, a couple played tennis in the park. I know they were a couple because they dressed alike (blue sweats, white t-shirts). They also played similarly – standing by the service line and dinking balls back and forth while gripping the rackets as if they were ping pong paddles. As unorthodox as their styles were, the back and forth, give and take, was still beautiful to watch.

From there I picked up a few tacos and took them to my mom’s for my routine Saturday afternoon visit. We watched the Olympics (water polo and men’s rowing) and talked about Mom’s cat. Before I left, I climbed on a latter and changed a light bulb that burned out above her garage.

On the way home, I tapped my left foot to the music on the radio, noticing a sense of contentment that has been missing for too long.

I picked up a friend and we went to the three dollar theater to see People Like Us, which led me to think about my relationship with my father and ultimately about how I interact with my nieces and nephew. And that led to multiple blog posts this week.

The word “routine” gets a bad rap. Just because it is a routine double-play ball or a routine checkup at the doctor’s office doesn’t make it any less important, or ultimately, satisfying, when the results are what you are hoping for.

A routine double-play ball is routine because the shortstop and second baseman have been turning them for so long that they make them look effortless. But if you or I attempted to turn a double play, it would look anything but effortless.

A routine checkup at the doctor is routine only if you have gone to see your doctor on a regular basis. Doing so offers the hope and confidence that you’ve done your part to catch any potential problems early enough to do something about them.

I am happiest when I follow a routine. Sometimes I allow the pressures of life to pull me out of those routines and when that happens, I drift. Not only do I drift, but I struggle. So I needed a day like I had last Saturday. It set the tone for the next several days and hopefully many more after that.


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