A routine, is, apparently, just a bunch of habits linked together. They work best when there's a flow to them, a rhythm, a sequence which makes sense both for your tasks and for your body.
There is a reason it's called a dance routine.
Here are the steps:
Get up, brush teeth, return to bedroom.
Get out the scale and weigh myself.
Put the scale back and start making the bed.
Finish making the bed, get dressed, and pick up any clothes lying about and put them away.
Go back into the bathroom with glass cleaner. Spray the mirror, the glass shelf and the sink. Wipe them all with the microfiber cloth. Wipe the outside of the toilet seat, the seat and then the rim of the toilet.
Take the cloth and anything else which needs to be taken down the stairs.
Put the cloth in the downstairs laundry hamper, put the dishes in the kitchen and make coffee. Empty the dish rack from the night before.
While the coffee brews, walk around to the living room, the dining room, the hallways and pick things up and put them back where they belong.
Go into the bathroom, wipe down the mirror, tiles, sink and toilet as before. Put the cloth in the hamper. Take the hamper to the basement (and pick up anything waiting to go down on my way) sort the items and start a load of laundry. Transfer if necessary. Take any loads in the dryer out of it and fold. Come back upstairs, grab some coffee, my to do lists and go over them.
Start boiling my egg for breakfast. Wash the dishes.
This is what happened this morning and it was nearly perfect.
Most mornings I put away the dishes while the coffee brews and keep my daughter company while she has breakfast.
Sometimes I start the pick up and put away while she's here, sometimes I wait until she's left. Doesn't matter, really. The point is, this is the rhythm. This is the flow.
It is almost automatic. If I woke up tomorrow and I was somehow unable to do my routine, I think I'd feel off-balance, as though there was something wrong with my day.
I remember my whirling dervish of a grandmother. She did her housework all day long, it seemed to me. She was always moving, doing something. (I used to live with her in the summers when school was out as my Mom had to work.)
I remember one evening after having friends over she was complaining about how tired she was as she started to fill her sink with water and soap.
I asked her why didn't she leave those dishes for the morning? There weren't that many.
And she laughed and said, Oh no, she couldn't do that. There weren't that many.
It was like leaving them for the morning was unthinkable. (She would hand wash and dry those glasses, cups and saucers by hand, too. Then she'd wipe down the dish drainer and put it away. No leaving things out in her kitchen! (To be fair, she only had slightly more counter space than I do.)
I think I'm beginning to understand that now. Beginning, mind you.
I'm hoping that one day, before I am a grandmother, it will be unthinkable for me not to do my daily chores.