“Motherf*%$er.” I mumble under my breath. I hear my one and a half year old daughter give the word her best try from her car seat behind me. “Dammit, Collette,” I think, careful to keep this one to myself.
I’ve just pulled into the gym parking lot, only to realize I’ve forgotten to move the clothes over from the wash to the dryer. Usually this is no biggie, but today, the husband (who’s at work) is flying out in just a few hours. CAN one send their husband on a plane with soggy underwear? Sure. But SHOULD one? –I guess it depends on the husband. But this one’s a good one, so, probably not.
I let out a large sigh and put the car back in drive. I point it towards the house as I tell the gym goodbye and recommit to cussing less. Overhead, thick grey clouds roll their fat bodies over the sky, stuffing the horizon as they snuff out the sun. There’s a bitterly cold wind blowing, and the whole atmosphere threatens what I’ve been dreading since the grass started to die a few weeks ago: snow.
I know I won’t be able to get back to the gym for at least another few hours, likely around 4p.m. By then, it’ll be colder, darker, and possibly snowier. Every single atom in my body won’t want to go. But I’ll go. I know I’ll go.
That’s what a routine is. More or less, routine is habit. And habit is a muscle. And when you flex a muscle over and over and over again, it develops a memory. It no longer requires the head, or more crucially, the heart, to do it’s work. The work just happens.
Until you believe the same for writing, the book will never get done. The poem will never be what it should. The submissions will never get submitted.
Grey clouds can kill a mood. They can suffocate a muse, drown a desire, and tamper with the very best of intentions. But to a routine, grey clouds can do nothing. The memory is already laid out, muscle already at work.