Thursday, 24 March 2011

Fleeting Routines

Have you ever had a routine, even if only momentarily maintained, that consisted of something you really cherish? Sometimes we can get so absorbed in these routines, whether it’s a workout program, a course, or even a simple dinner with friends. I’m not talking about a daily routine per se, but perhaps a habit based around a non-perpetual extracurricular activity or hobby. Of course, it’s possible to prematurely commit to a daily routine only to have it unexpectedly taken from you as well, but I would prefer to focus on the voluntary rather than the mandatory routines that we treasure in our everyday lives. 

Personally, I rarely venture out conquering new endeavors. The recent routine that I hold close to me the most is weekly dinners with my two close girlfriends, Cassy and Robyn.  It was spring/summer 2010, and big changes were on the way. Cassy was moving to Norway mid-summer, and Robyn was planning her next global move.  We would usually assemble at Cassys’s house, while she would ply us with the food that she was trying to get rid of before leaving the country. She was creative, and we started eagerly anticipating these weekly dinners. She had an abundance of frozen chicken that she refused to handle, at which time I was delegated the task of creation. I must say, I made a pretty damn good pasta (I think it consisted of canned sauce and mis-matched noodles) After dinner we would walk to the park and play on the playgrounds, and just calmly enjoy each others company and great un-censored conversations.  The air was warm, summer was on its way, and each of us was excited about new circumstances in our lives. One day, over delicious thin pancakes topped with berries and ice cream, I gloomily realized that it was my most beloved routine at the time, and that it would soon come to an end.
The 3 of us being awesome
The 3 of us being even MORE awesome!

Me in my strange clothes practicing my moves!
There was a time that I did venture out to partake in a new activity. I have always been interested in Kung Fu, and in 2009, I decided to give it a try. I relinquished my Saturday night drinking and showed up at 2:30 every Sunday to essentially wear strange-looking clothes and run around with the other students, who were all children. It was so fun! Everything about it was ridiculously challenging, and I recall getting demoted to the littler kids group at one point. Of course, there were incidents where I didn’t relinquish the Saturday night drinking, and, refusing to be wasteful, insisted on attending practice in my forlorn state. Even though those days were borderline torture, I stuck with it. My progress was minimal, and my physical condition sub-par, but I was attached to the routine. It was mine. No one else that previously existed in my life was a part of it. I got along well with the Chinese teenage boys, because we engage in similar hobbies (anime, video games, etc). I think that their parents may have thought I was strange, but they welcomed me regardless. After I had participated in the class for several months, I realized I would have to move out of the city into the condo that I had purchased a couple of years prior. It was non-questionable; I had to give up going to that class due to the distance I was moving. I have since considered joining something local, but aside from all the practical things holding me back (time, money, sloth), I just don’t think that my experience in a new class will be parallel to the one I had in the past. 

Routines and moments cannot be recreated. Nor can they be replaced. You can only hope to remember them, tell others about them and reminisce about them with the people who were involved. There is that old saying that goes: “People enter your life for a season, a reason, or a lifetime”. My Kung Fu lasted only a season. It changed my life and the way I spend my weekends, almost as if there was a reason for me to attend that class.  Luckily, with the two friends, we may have had our dinner routine for a season, but our camaraderie will last a lifetime.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I never heard that saying before but I will have to remember it. It makes so much sense. I think we all would like time to stop so we can have some memories or memorable routines last forever, but alas. It's not to be.