Consistency is a trait I value. I grew up in a home where people were not always consistent, so knowing what to expect on a day-to-day basis is something I find comforting. When I was growing up, there was a certain consistency to life: Lorene arrived every weekday at 8:30 without fail, she was consistent. My parents both started every morning with a cigarette before getting out of bed, they were consistent. My brothers consistently teased me, and my sister consistently carried me around on her hip when I was little. The dog consistently came in to be petted and baseball games consistently happened beginning in spring and going all summer. There was the consistency of church on Sunday mornings and school every weekday and piano lessons on Thursdays. We consistently watched television every evening – Gun smoke, Bonanza, Star Trek, and the Twilight Zone – and we went to the movies every weekend without fail. Storms consistently blew in winter, spring, summer and fall, and the lightening jagged across the night sky on a routine basis. We consistently ate cereal for breakfast and Lorene cooked fish every Friday. We consistently volunteered at our church for clean-ups or Episcopal Youth dances or to help at potluck suppers and those suppers consistently had the best yeast rolls and macaroni and cheese around. Our school consistently held pep rallies for the Fighting Purple Warriors and our family consistently went to the football games on Friday nights, even in the cold, rain, sleet or snow. I consistently participated in the school band, which involved hours of practice to shape us into an award-winning machine. And I consistently drove my car around the square and down the drag every Saturday night I was in high school, either with my girlfriends or my boyfriend. I consistently went parking on one of those weekend nights and learned to love those dark country roads and the smell of British Sterling. As I write this, I realize my youth had a great deal more consistently than I had previously realized. While my family could be inconsistent and unpredictable, much of the rest of my life pulsed to a steady rhythm. I still love consistently and strive to create those rhythms in my life. I now see that pulse has been there for a long, long time. No wonder I feel most comfortable in a life with a reliable cadence.
With the arrival of Covid-19, people all over the world are now in a time when consistency has been disrupted. We are all currently learning to create a whole new set of day-to-day routines in order to reestablish consistency. Personally, I’m surprised at just how quickly I have developed new patterns to establish a new rhythm. Maybe it’s because I value consistency so much. Or maybe that is a basic human trait that we all share.
Let me know if you have figured out how to reintroduce consistency into your life in the midst of Covid-19. If so, how? If not, how does that feel? I’d love to hear.
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I like your word “consistency.” In my growing up family it was called ‘routines” and my mother especially deemed them important …the time we went to bed, got up, pot roast on Sundays, etc. Growing up in a pastor’s home I also became soaked in the sessions of the church year, and living in the Midwest I enjoyed the seasons cycling.
In the midst of this huge disruption of life I find every little seemingly tiny routine so important….like the fact that my husband just brought me my coffee and a piece of peanut butter toast. The routines are there…just a little smaller and more precious.
Yes, routines, exactly. Thanks, Sue. That is helpful.