Here’s a question for you folks “out there.”
When does a routine morph into a ritual? Or a ritual degenerate into a routine? Because I don’t think we have any rituals, but we do have routines.
Most of our routines are mandated by life itself.
I get up. Stagger into the kitchen and push the “on” button to start the coffee. Then I clean the floors — kitchen and living room — because the dogs track in an astonishing amount of dirt on their dainty little (and not so little) paws.
I sweep, I mop, and if necessary, polish (sort of). I give Bishop his meds. I give Bonnie her eye drops. I put away Bishop’s mattress. I wash refill both water dishes. I give them all a treat because they expect it.
I put away the clean dishes sitting in the rack. I look around to see if I’m missing anything and if not …
I turn on my computer, go back to the kitchen and pour myself a huge cup of coffee. Grab a couple of low-fat, low-calorie biscuits. After which, with a happy sigh, I settle down to begin my day.
Is it a ritual? Seems to me it’s exactly what needs doing. It doesn’t vary because it’s not based on my choice but on the amount of dirt the dogs track in from outside. I do it because it needs to be done and if I don’t, the house degenerates into a pit.
Maybe the preparation and drinking of coffee has a hint of ritual to it. Millions of people all over the world drink coffee or tea as the start of the day. Does that mean that “hot, stimulating liquid drink” has some broader implications for humanity?
I tend to think “it is what it is.” Something hot, tasty, and stimulating to jump-start whatever the day will hold.
You can call it whatever you want … as long as I get my coffee.