We have been thinking about the desperate collective push for a return to normal. For routine. Sure, we have some things that fit into what is referred to as routine. We drink coffee every morning. We eat two or three meals each day. We walk with MacDuff several times throughout the day. We sleep for about eight hours every night. Generally, though, we wrankle at the thought of one day looking exactly like the next. If we knew tomorrow would look exactly like today we might not see the point of getting out of bed tomorrow.
What is it about a routine that people find so comforting? For many people, routine propels them forward, gives structure to their days. We find ourselves wondering, for instance, why going to the same café, at the same time and ordering the same drink, day after day is an important part of the daily routines of so many people.
If we lived in Paris or Rome maybe it would appeal to us too, though probably not. Given the plenitude of choices in either city, we would probably find ourselves trying to visit every one of them on rotation. We don’t need a ‘local.’ We do however appreciate that at least part of the appeal is community. Community is important to us too. We also know that businesses rely on those loyal, unwavering customers for whom routine is essential. Us, we need variety. We depend on change. A change of view. A change of experience. For us, a strict and unchanging routine is a silent killer. A killer of creativity and joie de vivre. We become sedentary. We have in fact been in one place for TOO long, many months too long. We have been in the same place for much longer than Covid-19. And, we are willing to remain in place for as long as it is necessary for the collective good of our community, for the welfare of the truly essential workers and for the vulnerable in our society. But be sure when the time is right our compass is already pointed directly towards the unknown, the unfamiliar and where words like routine and normal are not part of our lexicon.