Monday, May 22, 2017

Routine versus Rut

Good evening!  Quick update on Mr. Tyler.  No news is good news.  That's it!  

Seriously, it does actually work that way with Tyler.  When he rolls along through his routine each day, with little perks thrown in like pizza or Mexican food, things are normally pretty good.  He likes things nice and predictable and cozy.

In caregiving, there is a very thin line between maintaining a comfortable routine, and getting into a rut.  It's not unusual to find yourself weaving back and forth on that line depending on the current events.

There is no question I had found myself in a rut quite frequently.  I told myself that it was the cost of maintaining a routine, but deep down I knew better.  And when I was in a rut, Tyler was in the same rut.  

We have to fight the urge to cross the line from routine to rut.  Tyler and I liked to walk in the park every day, that was a great routine.  We walked exactly the same paths every day, that is a rut.  Tyler would have enjoyed the walk no matter what direction or paths we took, so there was no good reason to repeat the same thing over and over.  Even small changes of scenery and activity can be stimulating to the mind.  One day we walked in the park and I decided to pose Tyler on various benches, beside trees, and sitting on rocks.  Some of the pictures turned out pretty neat, and he was receptive to posing, at least for a little while.  It turned out to be one of our more memorable walks.  

Going to the beach was out of Tyler's routine, however we found a nice condo we were able to use for several trips, and he actually recognized where he was.  This made an easy transition for him when we arrived.  After about 4 days he started showing signs he was ready to get back to his normal routine, but those 4 days gave us all a powerful break from our rut.

I think the best lesson here is to look at the routines not as a thick black line that must be walked like a balance beam, but rather like a broad path in the woods.  Its perfectly ok to use the whole path.  Its also perfectly ok to look around and enjoy some of the scenery while you do it.  And while we are at it, we should know when the time is right to step off the path just a little, or even try another path.  ADDING to the familiar introduces variety.  

No matter how much any of us loves our routine....variety is still necessary to enjoy our lives.

Be well and God bless.    Tom 

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