Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Purpose-Driven Routine

Life in the Tuna household revolves around the bulletin board and the sea of handouts, schedules, special notices and other important scraps that are stuck haphazardly with push pins. Towering above it all is the master Google Calendar, which lists where everybody is supposed to be at all times. We come to rely on that calendar, both on paper and online to make sure we have our schedules and our lives straight. It's a chore, but with a little bit of planning we've gotten it down to a fairly smooth routine.

I would never describe our life as routine. Routinely insane, yes. But amid our seemingly frantic pace, we try to keep as much consistency in our day to day routine as is humanly possible. It's better for everyone that way, and it keeps the pace down to a manageable level.

When TeenTuna was just a TinyTuna, routine was a critical component of daily existence. In fact, part of her morning routine was to sit down and go over the plan. Without a daily briefing of the plan life would pretty much be 24-hour disaster from start to finish. Over the years her ability to cope with the unplanned has improved, and I'm pleased to report that now she is much more of a go-with-the-flow kind of teenager.

From comforting to mind-numbing drudgery, routines come in all different flavors. But the hardest ones to swallow are those routines that seem to be pointless. Walking the treadmill that goes nowhere, it's easy to ask HOW LONG, LORD? The answer isn't necessarily easy.

The trick with routines --particularly the pointless ones -- is focusing on the bigger goal, which in and of itself can be hard to accept. Sometimes it's hard to recognize what the bigger goal even is, and sometimes the desired results don't turn out just the way you'd like or on your preferred time schedule. Spend a few minutes pondering all those unknown and potentially undesirable results and you find yourself faced with a fairly compelling argument to get off the treadmill altogether.

Sometimes though, it's worth it to keep walking. A little bit farther. Just to see what happens. It never hurts to take a few more steps in the name of faith. And who knows? The time may just come in this purpose-driven routine when you find yourself going somewhere.


Anonymous said...

You mean, like, practicing scales and arpeggios?!

Anonymous said...

Too bad we often can't see the bigger goal... but then again, if we could see it, the treadmill wouldn't seem pointless.
Although some of my 'treadmills' have been rewarded, I'm very tempted to get off it most of the time.

sherry said...

I found a really cool thing about google calendars....they can be set to text message certain phones with reminders. No more do I hear from my husband, "but you didn't tell me about so and so"....because now, three hours before each event he gets a text reminding him of the event.