The humble routine isn’t the most glamorous of topics is it? At least it’s not something we tend to rave about. It might be kind of appealing after a two-week long beach holiday – we reach the end of our time off and look forward to getting back into a routine and feeling like we’re bossing it. But – on the whole – it’s not something that gets us going.
It probably has a lot to do with the fact we spend years and years following rigid timetables introduced to us in Year 7 that dictate whether at 10am on a Thursday, we’re wreaking havoc with Bunsen burners in Chemistry or trying not to mess up making a cushion in Textiles.
But I’ve recently come to realise that routines are pretty damn fantastic.
It’s been about a month since I moved into a flat in London with some uni friends and started my first proper job. Before that, I’d spent several months with a very vague routine that chopped and changed every couple of weeks, as I wheeled my suitcase from one friend’s place to another and started interning at a new magazine.
It was like an extended version of graduate limbo that I spent constantly trying to make a good impression and get people to remember me – and hoping it wouldn’t last forever.
I got used to having a plastic bag as my underwear and sock drawer, and I became skilled in locating a specific item in my exploding suitcase. But I didn’t really have any of my own space on those days you want to shut off from the world, and I felt guilty to be putting on friends and family, all paying central London prices to live there.
But for the last month, things have been much steadier. I’ve actually had a routine, and it’s been dreamy. I’ve been getting up and walking to my office in King’s Cross each morning, popping back home for lunch at 1pm, and inviting friends round for dinner in the evening. I have to pay bills, take the bins out and carry my weekly shop up loads of stairs, but it’s worth it to have a consistent routine.
Hobbies went out the window while I was sofa hopping because it was just really hard to do anything extra without having your own base, and having some stability and structure has meant I’ve ended up with so much more time on my hands.