I have been reflecting on this subject for some time now. Growing up in the sixties, it seemed we conducted our lives in a more ritualistic manor. We went to bed at the same time, ate breakfast together as a family. We went off to school ( or work), returning at a routine and predictable hour. Chapel was always on Thursdays. Church was Sunday morning; then we visited our family, every week.
Some would refer to this as a “routine”. That is my point, that we have, one, become more chaotic, and two, no longer value the predictable. We live in chaos, and fail to honor the ritualistic routines we once observed. David Brooks channeled and elevated my thoughts today in the New York Times.
“There should be a ritual for that moment, often around age 27 or 28, when the young adult leaves the wandering post-school phase and begins to get a sense for the shape and direction of his or her life. That ritual could embody the elements that the psychologists Daniel Levinson and Murray Stein say are often involved in life transitions: naming your limitations, befriending your inner life, realigning your central focus. For example, young adults might create a life map of where they’ve been and hope to go, and present it to their peers (on Instagram, obviously).”
Mr. Brook’s notion here is a grander extension of my simple thoughts. I recommend his piece.
I have drawn some of my thinking from Ernest Hemingway, who often sought to ritualize the every day, simple behaviors of day to day life. I refer you to his description of an afternoon picnic in “The Sun also Rises”. Our family, both individually and collectively are attempting to do things in a routine, ritualistic manor. We eat in (almost always). We eat at the same time. We pray. We drink wine ( just a little), and we are in bed at virtually the same time every night. Sound boring? Try it, it is very comforting. You may call it a ” bore”, we would submit otherwise. Simple is better, check it out.
Rick and Kate