Routines and rituals

I am really not a fan of routines in general. But my experience of living communally and the wisdom of many ancient monastic communities (of monks and nuns) is that routines really help. Especially when you’re all living in the same space. I’m thinking it’s time to share some of this experience about how to create a good home together…

I have so much to share about this, but for now let me just say that I’m going to try out a daily rhythm from the Northumbria Community retreat house ( (“Midday and Evening office” and “Compline” are other prayer times):

Northumbria Community Nether Springs House Daily Rhythm

I’m not sure how it’s going to work out, or how I will interpret the categories of activity. Already today I decided that washing up should be in the first “work” session. One thing I feel really concerned about is that we learn to properly value household tasks like washing up, cooking, cleaning, laundry etc, which have often been done primarily by women, and have rarely been accorded their proper social value. In times of pandemic, when we’re all at home more, these tasks matter more than ever and I believe everyone in a household who possibly can should share in them. They are not the sole province of women or even of adults.

I do let the cat off though. She’s so lazy!

I am well aware that the freedom to live to anything like this routine is a real gift. I’m in the self employed category, so most of my work for the moment has been cancelled. My work now consists in figuring out how to adapt what I can to be online and then working out which work streams I’m going to be able to develop in this season, and also how to access any government help.

In the midst of so much uncertainty, I am wondering whether this little framework of routine could be useful. Feel free to use it or adapt it for yourself, if it might be useful to you too. Or maybe to come up with your own. And let’s see how we go…

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