Saturday, August 29, 2009

Creatures of habit

Cats are routine creatures and my cat Popoki is no exception. Not three minutes after the kids are tucked into bed do I hear the muffled loud meows of Popoki dragging her favorite black ratted string from the bedroom into the living room or office, depending on where we are. This is followed by the thinner brown string...and then the other black string. She'll sit next to it like a dog with it's slobber soaked tennis ball meowing at you with the "oh please pretty please play with me aren't I cute and cleaver and I've felt so neglected all day long" pleading look on her face. Then I play with her for a while and she feels better and then does her own thing until she thinks it's time for me to go to bed. Then she waits and meows near the hallway door for my eminent arrival into the bedroom where she gets more petting and some company before her attention deprived nighttime.

Us human creatures aren't much different, some much more than others. It can be as severe as the guy I know that brings the exact same precisely measured lunch to work every single day (despite the snickers and ribbing from his co-workers) or simply that I drink my coffee the exact same way each morning. Hey, I do get wild and crazy and order a fancy coffee when I go out, but shhhhh! don't tell anyone. And, no matter how structured or unstructured people's lives are, everyone has routines and habits, from the order they do things in the shower to kissing their loved ones goodnight. But, sometimes the same day in and day out stuff makes me a little bonkers. If my man gets up and makes the coffee instead of me it's such a welcome relief. If he goes the extra mile and insists that I stay in bed and relax...a decadent slice of heaven pie.

That's certainly the beauty of vacations, like my recent trip to Vegas. Talk about a break in the routine! Funny though, as much as I enjoyed myself and my head felt clearer and lighter, I was fine about being home and settling back into my comfortable life. But, I wonder if we rarely take the time to change things up a bit and get away, like really get away from it all, do we appreciate the routine? Heck, I'm not sure you even need to get away to see it. I was blue and weird and funky for weeks after my kids were out of school for the summer. What the the cause? I'm pretty sure it was a shock to my established routine and relative freedom of me-time. And, once I got a grip on that (slapped myself silly) and embraced the time with my kids, then soon it was time to make plans for school starting again and a totally different schedule.

I guess for me it's all about finding good balance and keeping myself in check. Mixing it up on occasion is good for me but too much instability makes me unhappy. I wish sometimes it could all be so simple, like with my string obsessed cat - my owner goes away and throws off my routine, so I just act mad for a minute and get tons of guilt ridden attention, then take a nap to forget it all. Aah, what a life.

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