Being My Rituals

I have a lot of subtle rituals.  Rituals that I didn’t know were rituals until Tharp helped me to identify them as such.  Rituals that I otherwise do quite mindlessly.  Rituals that indeed impact the quality and efficiency of the work or the experience that follows them.

To me, rituals are very much so atmospheric and environmental.  My whole life is about spaces; the good ones and fixing the bad.  Where I put my body, what I do there, and for how much time are all factors to the way I feel in the given place.  Some of these places bring me peace.  Others don’t.  I do this to myself and I am doing it all of the time.

My rituals develop and change shape with time.  For example, every morning, I crawl down from my lofted bed, brush my teeth, splash cold water to my face, and I immediately change into my clothes for the day.  If I can hear one of my 6 roommates in the kitchen, then you can dang sure bet I won’t be having breakfast for the day.  Something about starting my day off bumping and pushing around people in the kitchen ticks me in the wrongest of ways.  So instead, I’ll pick up some coffee and walk myself to the bus stop.  The most important part of this routine, though, is the music played during the walk.  “What’s today?” I ask myself.  Last week was a very much a Frank Ocean week.  This week?  All about the Chromeo.  Next week?  Maybe it will be back to Alanis Morisette for the… possibly 60th time.

The trouble with my many rituals is the dissatisfaction I have when one, for some reason or another, didn’t prove successful in the same way that it always used to.  I rely on my preparatory rituals so much so that I get aggravated when I follow one to no success.  When this happens, I drop a lot of positivity from my day.  I get frustrated with myself and my lack of ability to preform.  Reconstructing my faith and trust towards myself becomes the new challenge of the day, rather than all of the exterior things I had already planned to tackle.  I’m left wondering whether it’s better not to rely on these rituals and to find excitement in the unknown.  Is it a ritual to live a part of your day carefree with no specific ritual?

Caroline Petersen

Caroline is a contributing writer to the Sweetland Minor in Writing Blog. She is an architect in training and spends a lot of her time sipping on cappuccinos and discussing elements of malfunctioning building features. She is a city girl who spent her elementary summers in the middle of Iowa at her aunt and uncles farm. She is a woman of many (unusual) facets that are traditionally fairly useless.

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