Curse You Frasier Crane!

Frasier,
Allow me to explain why you are ruining my life. I married a woman who has a bedtime routine that includes having the television on until she’s ready to go to sleep. It helps slow down all of her otherwise racing thoughts and ideas and questions from the day. It’s important to her. It’s also important to me. Primarily because it means that she won’t keep waking me up to ask questions about our schedules for the week or where we should go for vacation in 2014. Frasier, do you know what it is like to get to that point where you are on the verge of tranquil, restful sleep? The point where your thoughts begin to blur into a fog and your body is completely relaxed and comfortable and you know at any moment you will be immersed in peaceful, soothing unconsciousness. Do you know that feeling? I used to know that feeling. You have taken it from me Frasier. You have stolen my pre-sleep routine. How, you ask? How have you done this? Well, let me explain further. As previously stated, Erin requires time to unwind from the day and has developed a routine of watching mindless sitcoms to do so. For a while it was The King Of Queens, then it was Everybody Loves Raymond. You see Frasier, the key to finding the right show for this ever so crucial time slot is that it has to be entertaining, but not too entertaining. You have to like it enough that you can watch it and not be angry but not so much that you can’t just fall asleep in the middle. This is where you come in. We recently discovered reruns of your show on the “Hallmark” network. By the way, I can’t imagine how terribly proud you are that your show now airs on a network that still shows Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. Anyway, we thought that your show would fit well into this corner of our lives. We welcomed you into our home Frasier, and look what you have done to us. Your witty, off-beat humor has made it impossible to go to sleep. I can’t escape your strange and unpredictable plotlines. Every time I try to roll over and go to sleep, I am drawn back in by a clever quip. Every night I have struggled and fought against your power and have lost. I have stayed up until after midnight every night since we allowed you, your quirky family and that cursed little terrier into our lives. You are destroying my evening routine and wreaking havoc on my mornings. What did I do to you Frasier? What did I do to deserve this?

Sincerely,
A Concerned Viewer of Late Night Syndicated Comedy

Lately my morning and evening routines have been in shambles and it’s caused me to do some thinking. So, here’s a few thoughts on routines:

Why we love rountines?
I think we love routines because they make us feel like we’re in control of something. So much of our lives is ultimately controlled by outside circumstances that it gives us a sense of stability and comfort to know that there is something that is predictable and controllable in our lives, even if it’s as simple as a cup of coffee and the morning news. That’s probably why small changes in our routines affect us so much. Every time we’ve moved into a new house or apartment I experience this feeling of disorientation that creates frustration, discouragement and a lack of focus for the first couple weeks. I think most of it is due to the loss of my morning routine, which persists until I unpack all of the stuff necessary to reestablish stability and predictability to those hours. I’m not even going to mention what having kids does to your routine. Let’s just say, you’ll need new rountine once you have kids. The old ones don’t usually fly.

Why we should identify them?
I think it’s a good practice to occasionally look at your life and identify what your routines actually are. Sometimes we have developed certain routines that we’re not even aware of. It may help you find out why you’ve been a jerk lately. Maybe you’ve developed a routine that you’ve grown dependant on and have somehow violated it without realizing it ever existed.

Why we should evaluate them?
While having a routine isn’t bad, in and of itself. You may find that some of them put you in a negative frame of mind, are unsustainable at this stage of your life (leaving you constantly frustrated) or are just not the best use of your time. Maybe there are some adjustments that you need to make.

Why we should break them?
This is my favorite…. Intentionally breaking free from your normal routine can be a great way to shake things up. I once read a blog by a remarkably creative artist who mentioned that when he has a major creative project to do he will take a different route to work or go get breakfast or coffee somewhere new. Something… anything different, simply to break up the otherwise predictable routine. Apparently, there’s some science behind this. Somehow it throws your brain into a different mode of thought and starts up all sorts of creative processes that were otherwise sleeping through your auto-pilot routine. I’ve tried this many times and it has always been successful.

Overall, I think routines aren’t so bad, they can help bring a good sense of balance in our life. Although it’s good every now and then to be reminded just how little of your life that you can actually control. It keeps us humble and grateful. It combats the ever-present temptation to think that we are God, or at least that we don’t need God.

I know this was very different from how I usually write and what I usually write about. But I figured I’d break up the routine this week.

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About rmashaw

I am a Christ-follower, husband, father, pastor, musician and artist who desries to open up the box of my life for others to rummage through and perhaps find something of use to them.
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3 Responses to Curse You Frasier Crane!

  1. Erin Mashaw says:

    Maybe we could just dvr the Frasier episodes and go back to Raymond before bed… 🙂

  2. Rhonda Mashaw says:

    HAHA! Good thoughts! We are VERY routine oriented but when we have the kids or are around the kids, it’s so much fun!! The most important thing is THEY are fun! The things they do and say is amazing to watch and enjoy with them. But as you said it breaks up our very regimented routine! There is an sense of expectation in air. A different way of thinking occurs as we think about how we can prevent a possible problem, deal with what’s going on now and planning for what will come next!! We love being Gramma and Pops!!! There is always that wonderful thing that happens after a period of time. They go home or we go home! LOL!! Looking so forward to having them here!!

  3. Yes Rhonda I agree (I know you are loving getting so much feedback from your mother & mother-in-law..Ha, Ha). I have a slightly different take on the grand babies……I love to be THEIR BREAK from their daily routines. I love to let them have a fun time out from all the rules and “stress” of being a kid with parents who seem to have eyes in the back of their heads. I’m not saying I let them run wild (well it can get a little out of hand some times, ha, ha) but I LOVE watching them discover that they are at Nanny’s house and she isn’t so fussy about bed time, eating all those vegetables off their plates or getting a bit pumped up on sugar. I love introducing them to new things and watching as they spread their wings a bit. I know among my kids I have the reputation as the fun loving, no rules Nanny…..but when you are blessed to have such well behaved grandchildren, who are raised by loving parents who work hard at being the best parents possible (which means they are dedicated to teaching them right & wrong)….it really is fun to let those grand babies just cut loose from their routine a bit and just have some kid fun at Nanny & Papa’s house. It’s a bit extra work for us to allow the kids some freedom of choice and it takes some patience at times, but I just love watching them enjoy themselves AND see them so eager to come back to visit! ….I can’t wait to have my FL grand babies in a few weeks too…..I’m stocking up on candy, coke & late night kids movies…it’s going to be a blast! 🙂

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