Every fourth morning, I spread what I need upon the bathroom sink to change my appliance. It is routine, calcified over time into ritual. Each time I follow exact procedure, identical movements. It’s as if muscle memory takes over; conscious thought becomes secondary; I am an automaton. There was a time in my life when this sort of habitual activity was the exception, my work days busy with the variety that I was fortunate enough to have to confront day after day. Retirement has changed all that. I now face what Sylvia Plath called “large unfenced acres of time,” which is as good a definition of retirement as any. The challenge is to make it meaningful and productive, to not fall victim to the lure of laziness or the temptations of sloth. Routines will be unavoidable and, often, advisable. But I refuse to allow them to dominate. Living through the current limitations compelled by the coronavirus adds to the difficulty when seeking to inject some variety into one’s life. We all have our ways to do that, our unique interests and abilities that permit time spent in dodging the anchor that is routine. I guess writing these little squibs is one of mine.