Container for the thing contained

I’ve altered enough of my routines in the past two years that I can’t decide whether I’m waking up at the same time every day because I’m now well-rested (there were many years in a row when I was not) or because I’m much closer to the middle of my ages than I have been—I hear that an inability to “sleep in” becomes more common as one advances in age.

At any rate, at 6:25 this morning I looked at the wall and thought, “Now, how to amuse myself to-day for the next hour?”

I started with being pleased about feeling well-rested at 6:25 a.m. I suspect it will take me a few years to shake the bloom off this rose: I have always been a big proponent of eight to ten hours each night, and my decade of sleep difficulties really rattled me.

I moved on with an inward smile to a review of my <gasp> morning habits. Yes, actual habits that others would identify as such. Who knew? It turns out, for these habits, that doing them is little more effort than not-doing them, that their sequelae are pleasant (which is itself a mild impetus), and now that I wear a bite-guard each night—empirical evidence shows it yields improved sleep, so it’s a keeper, see above—I have a morning key-stone habit in cleaning it up. Evidently I have some standards, and washing the appliance daily is one of them.

It was as I turned to Thursday’s double creative block (in contrast to Friday’s jammed-in quarter-block) that I rested my thoughts here:

I sure do like containers.

There’s my penchant for physical containers, of course—the matchboxes in the pencil drawer, the personalized trash-can, the two cases of clean and empty baby-food jars with lids. But there’s also my love of tidy closets and bin labels. Of planner pages. Of frameworks for addressing circumstance. Of weeks with rhythms like tides, coming in and going out.

After six months, I no longer feel consistently unmoored. I doubt I’ve “figured it out” yet. But I have a morning routine, some weekly appointments,
and a new lead on an approach to days.

Whew! I feel calmer now that I’m a bit contained.


title h/t to James Thurber, “Here Lies Miss Groby

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