Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Rhyme, Rhythm and Routine

I seem to be happiest when I have these three things in my life in balance. It has taken me awhile to truly notice this and realize its benefits for me health-wise and attitude-wise.

I think the first R, rhyme, comes from my early childhood and all the training and recognition I had from my mother when I memorized songs, poems etc. She used to insist I perform for her friends with my sister while she played the piano. I had to learn "The Night Before Christmas" and a special Swedish duet. Later on in school I was most at home in choirs and drama groups where this was the coin of the realm. Even in the Navy, I joined the chorus and got out of the more dangerous duty. I sang for years with barbershop groups and master chorales. I used it in teaching, memorizing was of value. Now, I'm offering "Jabberwocky" as one of my volunteer choices for classes. Mountain View middle school drama dept. wants me to tour the kids to elementary schools with scenes from Shakespeare (my scripts) We'll see about that. I usually have several good books going, fiction/non at the same time; rarely finishing them.

Rhythm is used with spoken and sung words, but I think here I'm referring to my response to my many activities. For example: first thing almost every morning I swim laps at our clubhouse indoors. I get in a rhythm, almost a trance, as I "bob" up and down the lanes. It is better if I'm the only one in the pool. However, it is harder with choppy water and all the "regulars" at 6AM. It is almost like the movie "Cocoon". Out the window I can see the homes I sold when I work here in Sun Lakes. When I meditate, usually once or twice a day, I get in a rhythm from my breathing and the mantra. It helps me transcend and reduces stress. I also walk on the treadmill next to our bed. I vary the rhythm/pace every three minutes from very slow and plodding uphill to very fast on the level when I'm near the end of my 30 mins. I've lost weight too.

Since I was raised with a routine, and taught by one for so many years, I seem to feel better and more secure when I follow a routine in my daily/weekly schedule. Right down to bedtime and arising time, what I initially drink and eat hasn't changed for years. I'm comfortable doing it. I know, it sounds rather boring but it works for me, especially of late. "Wine, Women and Song" are now only memories, fantacies...weren't they always? Bob


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