Thursday, 22 January 2015

Routine Is Not An Ugly Word

One of the many things that I had hoped to accomplish following my retirement was to dispense with daily schedules. I really wanted to let my life choices dictate the clock and the calendar, rather than allowing the clock and the calendar to dictate my life choices. I certainly didn't have any grand notions of existing within a "Freedom 55"  commercial at the still very youngish age of 52. Me sail away on a schooner? Yah...not with my motion sickness. Instead, I saw the the future as a giant tabula rasa that could only be limited by personal preferences.

Naïveté is a peculiar circumstance.

While it is true that part of my mind knows that there is nothing stopping me from staying in bed until late morning on occasion to luxuriously read the newspaper, another part screams obscenities at me if I laze around for too long. My reason says "Relax. Take your time.", while my body yells "Enough already you lazy arse. Get your shit together and let's get moving." And so it is that I find myself back into an early morning exercise regime. 

While I am comfortably ensconced in The Southern Home, the majority of that activity consists of a lengthy early morning walk, either around the neighbourhood or down on the beach. After all, we have all been told that sitting is the new smoking, and since I have never so much as taken a puff, I figure that I need to get some real value out of my $99.00 FitBit Flex. 

It's funny. Even though my schedule has become much more fluid and flexible, the world around me, both human and natural, obviously still adhere to theirs. During those walks, I have encountered the same school children waiting for their buses, the same landscapers going about their business, the same locals exercising their dogs, and the same customers at Starbucks purchasing their morning caffeine injections. That's normal and to be expected. What was gloriously unexpected was my encountering of the same wildlife, in the same locations, doing exactly the same things every single morning. There is the squirrel in the park who actually responds to my mother's call and expectantly waits for bits to be dropped. (I won't allow her to give in to her better urges simply because he is a squirrel and I consider his northern cousins to be mortal enemies.) There is the large orange iguana who has taken up residence with his family in the mangrove trees abutting the Intracostal near our home. But I am most totally engaged with these White Ibises who cross my path daily.

As you can see, they are unfazed by human involvement and they are just quietly going about their morning routine, which usually consists of breakfast and crossing the street. Note to self: Resist urge to tell Ibis crossing the street joke.

They are awkward looking creatures who are as ubiquitous down here as sparrows are up north, but there is something about their patterns that has me mesmerized. I see them every single morning on my walk, and then miraculously, every single evening at dusk, an entire flock (I'd like to think it is the same birds) flies in perfect formation low in the sky right in front of my balcony. I could swear that they are dipping their wings in a familiar salute to me as they pass. (I have tried on several occasions to grab a photo or video clip, but they simply move too quickly and I am simply not that great a photographer.) I know it seems crazy, but it feels like my own remarkable interspecies moment. I have actually taken to parking myself on the balcony for an hour or so before dusk waiting for my friends to arrive. It is a magical moment that I now joyfully anticipate.

Yesterday as I watched my new friends perform their evening ritual, it struck me that schedules aren't the evil notions that I had made them out to be. Rather, it is how and what we choose to fill them with that truly matters. So far, mine doesn't suck.

No comments:

Post a Comment