By 9am, I had completed so many “tasks” that I “have” to do. Mass, confession, a run, a shower, making the bed, morning prayer.

But then, in the middle of the shower, congratulating myself for having been so efficient, I wondered what this attitude meant.

If I didn’t complete any of these things, my day would have felt frazzled or harried, or I would have been frustrated by “missing” the run, the prayer, the moment of liturgy in my day.

Some of these things are necessary for operating in the world like a self-respecting human: like, I can’t not take a shower. Recently, I’ve been taking three showers a day, but that’s a different story full of many refunded air conditioners. I mean, of course I can not take a shower, and then of course I will walk through my day probably smelling bad, but even if no one else smells me, I will feel like I smell bad, which is probably the biblical meaning of unclean. Taking a shower is just simply a restart button: “okay, washed off that accretion of dust mites, dirt, sweat, and dead skin cells, let’s start the cycle all over again.”

Once you do things daily that you’re supposed to do daily, you only have to do them again the next day. But the idea is that you’re supposed to do these things, and then you’ll have time to do other things. Are these other things supposed to be more exciting or authentic, because we don’t have to do them? Or are we supposed to get our daily things out of the way in the morning, because we then can enjoy all the non-required activities without knowing that there’s “something we must do” hanging in the offing of our day? And I guess I wonder: where is real living lived? Is it in the routine?

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