Living as I do in a world free of timetables and clocks, it’s very easy to get into a string of habits.
I do much the same things every day, as each day is more or less equal to the last. In fact the days are so equal that the only way I know what day of the week it is is by remembering what I did the previous day [I went for the paper yesterday, so today must be Sunday?] or by looking at my watch. The latter nicely reminds me what date, day and month it is but unfortunately omits the year.
Now I don’t mind habits, nor do I mind routines provided those routines aren’t unpleasant. They do sometimes lead to problems though.
It has reached the stage where habits and routines have become so commonplace that I do them so automatically that I’m not even aware that I am doing them. Many’s the time I have got up to make a mug of tea, only to discover a fresh mug on the table beside me. At some stage I have made a fresh brew without even realising it. Other times I have discovered I have done the dish washing with only a vague memory of having done so.
A frequent occurrence is to find myself doing something with no clue as to why I am doing it. Why am I standing in front of an open refrigerator? I have to think back over the last few minutes to realise that I was making an habitual sandwich and was supposed to be getting the butter. I didn’t realise I was making a sandwich, but then it’s part of the routine.
The downside of all this is that I have routine and habitual places where I put things. Money always goes in a particular pocket; car keys are always in the same place and my pipe is always either in my gob or by my chair. Then the day comes when the car keys get moved to somewhere different and I then can’t find them. If they are not in Spot X then they must be lost. The fact that they are in Spot Y which is only a couple of feet away but behind something is irrelevant – they are lost.
I have lost my pipe. It’s not the end of the world as I have other pipes, but it’s not in my gob and it’s not by my chair, therefore it’s lost. There is absolutely no point in looking for it as it could be anywhere. I obviously put it down somewhere but for the life of me, I cannot remember where.
This is the downside of habit and routine – absent mindedness. Its’ a bugger. Absent mindedness leads to a break in routine and my whole life gets fucked up because things weren’t done the way they were supposed to be done.
So now I have a new habit which I have developed.
Everywhere I go I scan the are for items that I absent mindedly misplaced.
It’s a bugger.