At the risk of being both a little self-indulgent and banal at the same time, I’m going to write a little about how much of a creature of habit I am and how getting out of the normal groove can sometimes be a tad traumatic. For most of my time here in India, I’ve not needed to use my alarm clock because I wake up at the same time every morning. Give or take 15 minutes or so, my eyes open at the same time and I drag myself out of bed at the appointed time in an effort to stop the dulling inertia of sleep. As breakfast is pretty late here in school, that gives me ample time to say my prayers and do my chores before showering and going out to school proper. When school is done I head home, rest for a bit and head out for exercise before returning for either a short read or short chat with parents at home. Then it’s dinner, a short walk to aid digestion before retiring to the room for a read, prayers and sleep at the same time everyday. (I realise that was boring but it’s a necessary preamble for what comes next. Do bear with me.)
What I do notice is that the more used that one gets to a particular routine, the more thrown one becomes when the routine goes out of order. Take Sunday night for example – I was invited to cook a Singaporean/Chinese meal for some friends and cook I did. Overestimating my organisational abilities and underestimating the time taken to actually pan-fry half a kilo of paneer meant that our dinner was delayed and we ended up chatting and watching cricket till it was fairly late. That also meant that I needed a little more time to wind down after leaving the good company and thus slept a fair bit later than normal.
Fast forward to the morning after. Had trouble getting up and rushed through chores and was generally a little grumpier than normal. Not quite the best frame of mind to be in to deal with students but things did get better as the day wore on. The funny thing is that one realises that little changes to one’s schedules like missing an hour or so of sleep or a couple days worth of exercise can throw one’s rhythm off quite severely. One could say that I’m a bit of a stick-in-the-mud for being such a slave to one’s habits but I’d beg to differ. I’ve found that getting into a fixed rhythm can help to order one’s day and can be a source of solace in the face of the chaos that can happen around us. I do admit that a little flexibility and the ability to sleep later would be great (gone are the days when I used to sleep at 1am – it’s much closer to 11pm now) but I’m quite happy to be this creature of habit now. Just need to keep that grumpiness in check better in future. Grunt.