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  • Writer's pictureJeana Noel

Routine...or Poutine?

Just a fair warning, this post does not contain the gravy-topped, Canadian delicacy known as poutine. I'm sorry. It just rhymes with routine, which makes it easier for me to swallow.

Routine. Blech. The word itself makes me want to sour my face and stick out my tongue. Just the idea of routine makes me cringe and immediately start looking for the nearest exit. BUT...I'm learning many lessons here at Camphill, and one resounding truth is this: routine is good. Blech. (Sorry, I'm trying!) But yes, routine is actually a wonderful thing. Especially for neurodivergent and people with learning differences...which, let's face it, includes us all.

A sequence of actions regularly followed...there's still some wiggle room within the definition of routine. Some people don't like feeling tied down and to them the idea of doing the same thing over and over again can sucking. But, you can have routine without sacrificing flexibility and newness. Furthermore, routine helps us feel safe and gain mastery (or close to mastery) in our lives. One of my coworkers said it best, "When we do the same things over and over again, it may seem boring, but it builds a skillset. A person can still perform a function, feel accomplished and contribute to society or the community, despite difficulties and obstacles put in their way." Indeed, routine can give our lives purpose and meaning.

I love that "routine" comes from the French word "route" meaning way, path or course, or better yet...a beaten path. How utterly romantic! Routine is actually a journey! I imagine a well-worn walking path between two homes of life-long best friends. Routine making its way across meadow fields to the house of its best friend, living next door. An easy and enjoyable stroll, familiar enough that one could travel it with their eyes closed. Sigh. Sounds dreamy.

The fact it, routine can help people experience meaning and purpose, it can make journeys easier, and it doesn't have to be so binary. Everything in moderation. Even routine. And moderation. Finally, I think I'd like to continue forging routines, especially things that bring me peace and happiness, with people whom I love. I also encourage you to continue making paths and routes in your life with people whom you love.

For more on routine, check out these books: The Lord of the Routines, Gone with the Routine, The Importance of Being Routined, 100 Years of Routine, A Routine with a View, Midsummer Night's Routine, Where the Wild Routines Are and my personal favorite, Routines of Grass.

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