Do you ever feel like life consists of small moments that seem to repeat themselves again and again? Often made up of the somewhat repetitive actions we perform day after day. I think about these small moments a lot. Sometimes I feel like I am living out groundhog day, always doing the same small things, reliving the same small moments that make up my life.
Often the day itself becomes a fast moving blur and the moments I feel trapped in, the moments that seem somehow illuminated are those at the start and end of the day. Perhaps they are the routines I practice the most, whereas the day itself can vary due to outside influences such as other people, even weather.
For me, I feel like I am always waking up wrapped in my warm blanket, dying for the loo. Then I am always outside letting the chickens out. Then I am always on the sofa eating my breakfast, drinking my tea, checking my phone. Later on, I am always getting ready for bed, writing, followed by reading or Netflix back in my blanket cocoon, waiting for sleep. Those are the longest, brightest moments that repeat themselves so much.
But there are others as well, all so familiar to me, all ingrained little habits and routines, such as sitting on the bottom stair, my body angled towards the shoe rack, where I pull on my Converse and tie them up, or the way I always have an ice lolly just before I go to sleep, because I’m thirsty but I know having a big drink will mean I wake up in the night to go to the toilet.
If I’m honest, I like my little routines and derive comfort for them. Every Saturday I have a long bath around 3 or 4 pm for instance, and I look forward to it all week. It’s my chance to close the door, shut myself away, submerge myself in warm comforting water, read a good book and drink a glass of wine. It always plays out the same. I feel disjointed and uneasy if this routine is ever interrupted. It always feels like the worries and strains of the week flow right out of my body and mind as I slip into the water.
But some moments are less fun, less desirable and instead they become monotonous. Driving my husband to work, turning around, driving back, driving my son to school, driving back. I could drive those roads blindfolded and I look forward to breaks in these routines. I could happily live without them forever, in fact.
Sometimes I think that’s what life is. Small moments, repeated, small moments savoured, small moments dreaded, small moments strung together to create a life from start to finish.
And it’s always the small things that mean so much to us. It’s the little things that count. It’s always the little things that make us smile and keep us hanging on. I recently wrote this little list poem about the small moments that come around again and again in my life:
Wake in warm blanket cocoon
One sock off, one sock on
The floor is cold
Socks don’t match
They both have pink toes
But one is long, one is short
No one will know
A dress with stars and skulls on it
Belt gets caught in the loops
I don’t have time for this shit
Sit on the bottom stair to tie up shoes
Day after day
A cold wind blows at the petrol stattion
It starts to rain
People huddle at bus stop
All the lights are red
As the Universe thwarts me
A man gets out of his car
To shout at the one behind
Nothing happens, we move on
The radio sings
This is a beautiful day
This is a new day