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routine

I need a routine – a word with 83 synonyms

I need a Routine. Before writing this article, I decided to look up the word in various dictionaries. It quickly became a grammar lesson, depending on whether ‘routine’ was used as a noun or an adjective. It also apparently has many synonyms.
 
The Thesaurus lists eighty-three synonyms, including ‘grind’. I’ve heard people exclaim “What a grind!” talking about a particular job and the daily grind describes a routine, paid or unpaid, which is disliked intensely. The words, pattern, habit, cycle, are also among those cited.
 
My head was slowly starting to spin, may be as a result of Christmas overindulgence, or due to the recent lack of routine, caused by the holiday period.  I have put up the Calendar for 2021, with events marked on it, which can be described as routine happenings. These include dental and other health checks, done as usual precautions.
 
So, job done, until the date on the Calendar shows that it is time to arrange an appointment, remember someone’s birthday, or start the countdown to next Christmas.  Preparations for cards, decorations, presents, food are all done in a particular order, spread out across December. 
 
It doesn’t feel like Christmastime to me without some shiny decorations, and this takes time and organisation, even if it’s only opening a box taken from the top of a cupboard.
 
 It goes without saying that I am an inveterate list writer, when it comes to my weekly routine. Days are set for shopping, laundry, housework, and personal care.  Any extra job will have to be fitted in around these essential activities.
 
 
Here I have to confess that I find it necessary to write a daily list! In my defence, this is done in the cause of flexibility. It may be that a particular day becomes overloaded with tasks and by keeping track, I can cross off a job or move it forward to another day.
 
The great advantage of the list is that simply writing something down can sometimes accomplish the task, in that it can be moved forward indefinitely!  It can quietly go on the “Eventually Forget” list. It is wise to accept that not everything can be remembered or accomplished. 
 
May be “Making A List” would have been a better title for this article, although for me, making a list is a routine activity, so I’ll stick with Routine. 
A routine is possible without a list and I take my hat off to those people who can self -organise without one. 
 
The case of Terry Waite is an extreme example of someone who managed this. When taken hostage in Lebanon in 1987, he was held in darkness and solitary confinement, and survived with mental health intact, after five years captivity. 
 
How many people outside of their sleeping routine wake up, having lost track of time and wonder if it is morning or night? A quick glance at the clock soon puts this right. This was not an option for Waite and he had to construct a routine, around the times his captors brought in meals.
 
Without a watch or writing materials, he says that he wrote a book in his head and composed poetry.  The irritations of everyday life pale in significance to this challenge and place in perspective the discombobulation caused by disruptions to routine. 

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