I’m in my thirties. This means I won’t age again until I’m in my forties.
Meanwhile, I get to enjoy the finer things in life with newfound sophistication. No longer am I harried by carpe diem, the Latin equivalent of YOLO. No longer am I expected to chain-drink shots to start a party. Shots are now for the end of the party: this way I can fall asleep quicker.
And nothing is really a party anymore. It’s just called a night. “What are you doing Friday night,” they ask. The same thing I do Tuesday night, invariably, but maybe with vigor. Either way I’ll be up tomorrow morning at the same time. This is called a routine.
I like my routine. I like my mornings and nights. Days come and go but they’re surrounded by these immoveable slabs of behavior that occur without the use of willpower. I like that.
Willpower is a polite way to refer to the indignity of doing something you don’t want to do. You can see willpower become indignity if you wear it down. It’s like the pyramids of Egypt, their marble veneer now worn down by erosion, leaving exposed a long-suffering limestone structure.
I imagine this is inevitable, but I still have some willpower left, thanks to my routine. I wake up and somehow my legs know to cart my body to the bathroom. Somehow, after this, my hands know to start some coffee. Before I realize it, I’m at a desk and an email has been sent off.
From this point, now well prepared, a day happens. This is the variable aspect of life. The big movie. Who knows how long it’ll be, or what travails I’ll face, but I will know it has ended when my night routine kicks in. Here, I mentally note a list of people whom it is too late to send a meme to. I look in my pantry for something that won’t bubble all night in my stomach. I’ve had enough dreams about losing teeth that brushing, flossing, and listerine all occur without my expressed consent.
I imagine as I get older these bookends will gradually gain territory. The morning routine will get an addition that takes me far past noon, while my night routine will kick in before dinner is decided.
Eventually, I’ll have perfected my full day, and any aberration to this fine-tuned construct will present as injustice. How dare you barge in at two in the afternoon? This is story time. How do you expect me to come to your dinner party at eight on a Wednesday? And how did the word ‘party’ come back in the lexicon?
But, I’m not quite there yet. I’m in my thirties, as I said. A good portion of my day is variable, chaotic even. The routines I’ve developed are still feeble, yet to be nursed into their full form. And why would I want that yet? After all, I still got a bit of marble on me.