Ostomy Memories of Routine


MY LIFE HAS FALLEN INTO A DAILY ROUTINE.  At first, I thought that was a good thing.  It includes certain creative efforts, academic activities, enjoyable sidelights, exercise.  But it is beginning to dawn on me that I am stagnating in this routine and not expending as much of me as I feel capable of producing.  It has hit me that this routine, this diurnal repetition of activities day after day, is my way of coping with the aging process.  In short, I have slowed down appreciably.  Educator Amos B. Alcott said: “The less routine the more life.”  I’ve put myself into a room and there’s only so much one can accomplish closed up in a room.  The room itself may just be metaphorical, as one option to break free from my present routine would involve taking up a major creative effort that would not remove me from the room necessarily, but would substantially increase and vary the room’s activity and most definitely send the curse of routine packing.  There are limited options.  I can’t play a musical instrument, so joining a band is out of the question.  I abhor politics, so I won’t be running for office.  I’m too old, and married, so chasing attractive women is not likely.  But there are things I can do that do not fall within the penumbra of stultifying routine.  That whirring sound you hear is me considering my options.


It's strange Henry when I am at work away for 21 days or more, I stick to a strict routine, this helps me get through my time, the thought of going home and losing that routine makes me a bit apprehensive and mildly frightened, but as soon as I walk in that door my routine has gone and I have only one consistent action the bag change, the rest is taking it a day at a time, and I feel fine...


Hello HenryM. 

Thank you for another interesting concept. 

Over the years I have thought about routines and what might be considered their opposites,

Some people get frustrated/discontented and feel ‘stuck’ in their routines. Consequently, they  try to change them for something ‘different’.  Others find that routines provide a form of stability and ‘contentment’.

One of my many theories is that the frustration element seems to be just what society’s money-makers encourage, so that people are more likely to change their ways in the pursuit of what is euphemistically labelled as ‘happiness’.  This, of course, (according to the gospel of the market place), can be ‘bought’ in the materialistic goods (or services) that people have on offer.  

Needless to say I am very sceptical about ‘happiness’ and prefer to encourage people to seek ‘contentment’, as it is often so much more reliable and less frustrating than the pursuit of ‘happiness’.

It is a concept that often arises with people whose frustrations lead to such mental angst that they attract labels of ‘mental  illness’. Once the concept has been thought through logically, (rather than emotionally) people usually understand that the search for contentment is an internal one rather than needing any external changes.

There is an interesting proposition that I often portray, which illustrates how getting frustrated and subsequently seeking changes can, itself, become a ‘routine’.  The holiday and service industries make millions out of selling people the idea that to ‘get-away’ will be the answer to their daily drudgery. Whereas there may be a lot less money to be made by encouraging people to find satisfaction and contentment in their own locality, in their own minds, in their relationships and in their daily routines.   

I leave you with one of a series of rhymes on this fascinating subject :

Best wishes



Happiness is ill-defined,

it all depends what’s in your mind.

For one it might be candle light,

sensuousness as lips unite.

Minutest things, like good coffee,

or smell of fresh baked bread may be.

Things that are emotional.

are uniquely notional.

Happiness is unreachable,

it may also be unteachable.

So where can I get that happy urge?   

From whence does happiness emerge?

It can be an anathema,

a paradox, a real dilemma

for those who oh! so frequently

find it very hard to ‘be’.

Within themselves they feel a need,

on happiness they want to feed.

It becomes a true obsession,

leading them towards depression.

Looking here and seeking there,

hedonists are everywhere.

How many make it to their aim?

Who can their happiness sustain?

Many chase this fool’s errand

and never find the rainbow’s end.

Some will try to buy their way,

others steal or cause affray.

Happiness I would suggest

is a useless, fruitless quest.

When you truly know what’s meant,

You’re better off to be ‘content’.  

                              B. Withers 2008

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Hi Henry funny you mention changing of routine, my wife and i both retired now and no commitments were in the usual rut of life but then decided to get a puppy and oboy has the usual changed, getting up earlier, four feedings a day, changing out training pads and so on.

Reply to Bill

We're on the same page, Bill.  I've always regarded the concept of 'happiness' as a sham, a pot at the end of the rainbow that is always just beyond reach or, once found, is nothing more than that multi-colored oily stain on the highway following a rain.  Most hawkers of happiness are selling something they want you to buy and, everyone ought to know, 'things' don't bring happiness.  Just ask all those wealthy folks going through divorces and other common catastrophes.  

Living with Your Ostomy | Hollister
Reply to ron in mich

Oh, a puppy will do it, won't it?  That's funny.  But they do inject a lot of excitement and joy into a household, not to mention some of the more messy aspects of puppy life.


Hi Henry,I find comfort in routine, which may seem obvious, but I don't think it should be minimized. Change is stressful, period. Life is, of necessity, full of change, so what's wrong with holding ontothe things that don't need to change in life, if they bring you contentment and reduce your stress? I used to wonder if I was "stuck in a rut" and if I should feel guilty about not being more spontaneous, of trying new things or taking a different path from the usual more often. I don't worry about it anymore. So what if I eat the same thing for breakfast every morning or order the same thing on the menu of my favourite restaurant?So what if I take the same path on my evening walk?Soon enough, I will be forced into change whether I want it or not. I am content to stay with my routine. Did I mention that my blood pressure is always on the low side?


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