Ode to Routine

Mason Currey, writing for The Atlantic:

In an 1892 lecture, William James laid out his idea of perfect unhappiness. “There is no more miserable human being,” he said, “than one in whom nothing is habitual but indecision, and for whom the lighting of every cigar, the drinking of every cup, the time of rising and going to bed every day, and the beginning of every bit of work are subjects of express volitional deliberation.” Now that social-distancing measures have been adopted worldwide in response to the coronavirus pandemic, many people are suddenly finding themselves in the position that James so dreaded. Long-established routines are being swept away faster than cartons of shelf-stable almond milk at my local Sprouts. Whole sections of the day that previously ran on blissful autopilot now require conscious decision making and the reluctant hand cranking of dusty willpower. 

The Routines That Keep Us Sane

A charming essay about finding structure (or not) in the midst of a storm.