When Did Your Daily Routines Change and Why?

Every person has a set of daily routines whether they identify with them as such or not. Back in August 2021 we terminated our lease on a 900 square foot single-floor condo to move into our newly purchased 1,500 square foot three-story townhome. This single twenty-four hour move disrupted two-years of established daily routines.

As far as accommodations go we definitely moved UP with buying a three-story townhome with large south facing windows overlooking a City park and in the distance the skyscrapers of downtown. The one thing neither of us thought about was how this move would shake up our daily routines and how long it would take to re-establish them for us both.

My wife and I sleep very different hours, as well as we both are peculiar about when we like to have our “alone time”. Her time is between 5:00am and 7:30am whilst my own is 11:00pm to 2:00am. She sleeps like a rock and has five alarm clocks set to go off at 5:00am! Yup she sleeps around five and a half hours each night because she loves the peacefulness of those early morning hours.

On the flip side, as soon as the click strikes 10:00pm, my BRAIN lights up… and I steadily grow more and more awake, whilst she grows more and more sleepy. She hits the sheets and I hit the keyboard. Some nights I’m up until two o’clock in the morning studying, reading, or star gazing. Some nights I’m prowling around outside in the Tacoma chasing down the northern lights.

Usually I tucker out around 2:00am and climb into bed. “Goodnight wife,” I whisper shutting my eyes and I’m out for the next five to six hours.

At precisely 6:30am the first alarm clock BUZZES on the bedside table. Without opening eyes the snooze button is pressed. A 15 minute cat nap and the second alarm BUZZES a new tune and I rise up out of the slumber to head for the bathroom.

After this I head across the hallway into the meditation and yoga room pulling open the curtains and opening up the Yoga app to begin my morning routine of stretching, muscle building, and cracking of body joints.

Morning yoga checked off the list, I’m back into the master bedroom pulling together today’s work clothes then a quick jog downstairs to pull breakfast and lunch together. This morning its a bowl of fresh raspberries, a sliced banana, a handful of almonds and gluten-free oats with a side of multi-vitamins and a glass of water. Breakfast down and dishes put away, I’m back into the refrigerator digging out last night’s veggie stir fry and basmati brown rice to make lunch. Lunch stowed into the ugly brown Dakine backpack, I’m back upstairs in two-minutes flat.

Teeth brushed, wallet in hand, and wedding band onto the ring finger I head back down the stair case turning the corner to give the wife a hug and kiss before grabbing the backpack and Tacoma keys. Another flight of stairs down and I’m checking the temperature outside to see if I need to start the truck before heading into the garage. Its above -10 degrees Celsius and we’re in the clear. Out of the foyer closet comes the winter jacket, toque and gloves. Everything on, we’re out the garage door, locking up behind us, opening the truck door, stowing the backpack and climbing in.

Fifteen minutes driving down the highway and we arrive somewhere between eight-thirty and nine in the morning. Today we are aiming at departing at 5:00pm but somedays it turns into a late night of 7:00pm! Damn it! Thankfully today was a short day and we depart at 5:15pm out the back door, tossing the Dakine into the truck and climbing in after it.

A skiff of snow on the ground we power slide out of the parking stall and onto 127th street heading north around the double corners then over to the back streets to make it home in eighteen minutes. The wife asked if Nacho’s were on the menu tonight? I respond with a an A-OK emoji.

Garage door goes up. Tacoma gets pulled in beside the Corolla. And its all the reverse motions of this morning. Foyer door opens, we step in onto the floor mat, the door is closed and locked. Shoes are kicked off, jacket, toque and gloves stowed in the closet and we head upstairs to the open concept main floor. “Hey wife, how was your day?”

We prepare dinner together and discuss the top 5 moments of our day. We’ve learnt that talking about five or less things which happened in each of our days leads to more conversation and less mind distractions. Tonight the oven is on and tortilla chips are spread across two cookie sheets. As she’s grating jalapeño jack cheese, I pull down a chopping board and start slicing and dicing the ingredients.

After dinner everyone changes into relaxation clothes. For myself its a t-shirt and gym shorts then we’ll kick back on the couch and either watch an episode or two of Chicago P.D. or watch a pre-recorded movie to decompress our brains. Around nine all the TV devices are turned-off and we disembark from the couch to head upstairs to the office.

Tonight I’m reading a boatload of information about the Home Buyers Program (HBP) on the Government of Canada’s website. The HBP program is for first time buyers to provide themselves a no interest loan to be used as a partial or full down payment.

Headphones on and music blaring in my ears a finger touches my shoulder and I jump three-feet in the air nearly knocking my wife down. SPOOKED! She laughs as her eyes are barley open. She points at the clock, and whispers, “bed time. hugs please.”

Hugs distributed, I note its 11:38pm, “Sounds good. I’ll be right behind you,” I say. She smiles knowing full well that right behind you means at least another hour maybe two. We embrace and she pulls the office door closed behind her. My head swivels pulling headphones over ears and continue pounding fingers onto the keyboard.

~ James Curtis

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