The alarm goes off. I reach over and turn it off and get up. I slip on my house shoes and go to the bathroom without turning on any lights. Then I come back and still without turning on any lights, get underthings from my dresser, and in the (still dark) closet) pants and a top. Sometimes I turn the light on and stare at my clothes for a few minutes, but usually it's a pretty quick selection process. Then I go back to the bathroom and get in the shower. Soap, shampoo, conditioner, shave if necessary, out. Sometimes Karin is just finishing up in the bathroom as I'm ready to get out and she hands me a towel before I can open the shower curtains. Then I give her a hug and kiss and say have a nice day and she leaves for school.
Deodorant, get dressed, then make-up (a little foundation, mascara, cover-up, finisher, same order every morning), then teeth-brushing and biteguard cleaning. Then I check that Martin is done eating breakfast and getting dressed. I go get my watch and rings and glasses. Then I grab the iPad and go back to the bathroom where Martin is brushing his teeth, and we play the daily 7 Little Words puzzle together while I add some frizz control/curl product to my hair and turn on the hairdyer. Today he got the 11-letter word for "some wicked fairy tale women".** Then I check my email so I know what to expect when I get to work and tell Martin to feed the fish. Lastly, I spritz on some hair spray and shut the cabinet door. Then we leave for Lund and I drop him at the bus stop just past my office before I go to work.
Upon arriving at work
I get to work about 10 to 8 nearly every morning after dropping Martin off and driving back to the office. I park in the approximate same spot each day. Once I get upstairs, I take off my coat, open my bookcase shelf, take my phone out of my purse and put my purse away. I turn on my computer and go to the kitchen to get a clementine from the fruit basket. If it's Monday I water my 3 plants (who have all survived the 2.5 years of indirect light in the open landscape). When my PC has booted up, I login, and open Outlook, Internet Explorer and Windows Explorer. I surf to Facebook to check if anyone has a birthday today and send them greetings if so. Then I open our Marcom Helpdesk ticket system and see how many job requests have come in overnight. I take care of as many of the quick ones as I can, usually 3-7 of them. Then I settle into the things I have prioritized for the day. My colleagues trickle in after me (it's rare someone beats me in), and at 9:00, though I don't go everyday, everyone goes downstairs to the restaurant (or over to the main building) for a breakfast roll. If I go, I take my clementine with me. If I don't go, I just eat the clementine at my desk. If I go, I get the same thing for breakfast every time. If I'm downstairs it's half a roll with cream cheese, tomatoes and salt & pepper and a small glass of orange juice. If it's the other building it's half a roll with a bit of butter, a slice of cheese, which I then go melt in the microwave, and tomatoes on top with a sprinkle of Aromat, and a glass of half lingonberry juice and half water.
Most weekdays upon arriving home from work
I check the mailbox even though I know Karin has probably already grabbed the mail. When I come in, I hang up my coat and purse and keys, remove my day shoes and slip on my house shoes. Then I open any mail that's waiting. And then I clean up anything out of place in the kitchen: put dishes in the dishwasher (or yell at the kids to come do it if I'm exasperated), put any recyclables that were drying by the sink into their bins. I tidy up what's on the table, and then walk into the living room and say hi to the kids. I walk around and pick things up and tell the kids to pick things up. I ask them if they have any homework, and I do a quick check of email on the iPad. Some days I start dinner, but mostly I wait until Anders gets home because he always has better ideas than I do.
Around a quarter after nine, I call out the 15-minute warning to the kids. Otherwise I have to yell at them to get off the computer already! It's bedtime!! They go get their pajamas on (if they don't already have them on from their evening shower) and brush their teeth. I take over the computer and do the things I couldn't do while they were still on it: check email, update my book list, check Facebook, catch up on blogs. Before 10, I go into each kid's room in turn (alternating kids each night) and we say, in unison, "Good night, sleep tight, see you in the morning, I love you" before a goodnight hug and kiss. Every night Karin asks me to lie down with her. Some nights I do. Some nights I do, after I finish a few things, like this post. Some nights I don't because I am going to bed. Then I feed the fish (they only get a miniscule amount of food each time), go to the bathroom, brush my teeth, and fetch my biteguard. I turn off one of the living room lights, and the fish tank, and I go get a drink of cold water from the kitchen. Then I kiss my husband good night and tell him I love him (and he tells me) and then I go into the bedroom, put on my nightshirt, set the alarm and turn on the bedside light. Lastly I crawl into bed and read for at least half an hour.
Some people think routines are dull, but I freely admit I'm a creature of habit. It's the same thing 5 days in a row, nearly every week, but I need the comforting round of routines these days, though of course I get tired of them sometimes, too. And they're made even more comforting by the shakeup they usually get at least once a week: Someone is late getting up! Someone is sick! Early morning appointment! Plans after work! Company coming! Thank goodness I have the rest of work day in between these as well as weekends to keep the routines from becoming too soporific. What routines make you happy? What habits have you cultivated about your daily routine?
*title from a quote by Jim Ryun