Today I’m returning to work after being off for a week. I had nine days in a row to do what I wanted to do, nine days to not feel like I had to stay plugged into the news, nine days of freedom.
No, I’m not ready to go back to work. But a little part of me is glad to go back only to have more of a routine. Having a routine is helpful for both my depression and my OCD.
First, the vacation week:
*I read a lot, hung out with Larry and with the cats, took naps and just generally relaxed.
*I finally transferred my music library from iTunes to my iPhone. I’ve only had my iPhone for five months.
*I had to get my driver’s license renewed, so I had to spend a little time at the DMV, but it wasn’t too bad. The new picture on the license? Larry said it looked like a mug shot, and it does. And I’m going to have to live with it for at least eight years.
*Larry took me to the bookstore and waited while I picked out a stack of books for my birthday. I was like the proverbial kid in the candy store.
*We had a nice dinner out for my birthday. While we were eating, Larry noticed what he at first thought was a pheasant out the window. Turns out it was a peacock. The waitress told us he had recently taken up there. I got a photo of him on my iPhone through the window, so it's not a great shot.
*We drove up to Leesville Lake, a nearby lake, one evening and enjoyed the peace and quiet and beauty of the water.
It was a wonderful nine days. But they didn’t include a lot of routine. Not having a routine is OK for a while, but overall I feel better if I do have one.
For example, during my time off, I stayed up late, then slept late or napped at odd hours. Getting up at different times led me to take my medicine at different times and to eat at different times.
Going back to work will help me sleep and eat more regularly.
Staying busy with work also helps my depression and OCD by keeping my mind on other things. I don’t have as much down time, so I don’t have as much time to mull over things that might cause anxiety.
With all of that said, my routine still needs help. I’d like to have a routine that suits me even when I’m not working.
I’d like to get up earlier in the morning. I’d like to write on more of a regular schedule. I’d like to have time set aside each day for meditation and reflection. I’d like to have less empty time where I can’t decide what to do. I’d like to live with a more peaceful rhythm.
It’s hard work to change one’s routine. I know that from experience.
So I’m asking you, dear reader, to please offer me and other readers some tips and advice. How important is a routine to you? Does your life have a rhythm? How do you manage your schedule? How do you make yourself get up early in the morning?