Highlands Blog

Personal Rituals & Doing What Matters

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Posted in Highlands Blog under Character, Personal Growth

French press coffee, a personal morning ritual.

First I take the cream out of the fridge and pour a half cup into the bowl on the stove top next to the pot where the steel-cut oats will cook. This is so that the bowl and the cream will be warm after the oats are done.

Walnuts, raisins, nutmeg, and cinnamon are also added to the cream (or sometimes eggnog instead of cream). The coffee beans are then ground and the French Press is also strategically place on the stove near the kettle and the small pot of oatmeal so that it too might be pre-warmed.

Soon the oats will be swirled into the bowl of cream and its amenities, the water will be introduced to the coffee and then, four minutes later, pressed, and then poured, but only at half-a-cup-at-a-time so that each draught is pleasingly hot.

The couch in our living room serves as a breakfast nook where my laptop or yellow note pad or books or all of the above are carefully staged and waiting and for the next two hours—two hours before anyone else in the house has stirred—my day begins.

And this represents my daily ritual unless I have an early meeting or we are cooking breakfast for guests.

This is the optimum time that I have found for reading, writing, study, and correspondence. All is good and quiet and the entire day under my stewardship is being ordered, beginning with me. I find myself out in front instead of behind or simply being at the whim of time and circumstance.

There is a plan, I have a plan, and if life doesn’t go as planned (ha!) then at least I know that it is not because I didn’t try.

I am fully engaged with my power-breakfast of fiber, fat, sugar, and caffeine. I have pursued my To Do list, the commentaries have been consulted, the In Box has been whittled down, required reading and writing assignments are revisited and nurtured, and more To Do items have been recorded all before the day dawns, before the “normal” kicks in.

Habit and Ritual are subjects that I have been looking into. Some argue that you are defined by your daily routine—that you are what you do. Others would say that you are what you love and that you order your life by that love/desire. One person even postulated that the legitimacy of an individual’s faith is not found in their knowledge but in the pattern of their life. There is much here to consider.

Jesus would say that our life is to be one of seeking the Kingdom of God rather than being caught up in anxiousness or concern about daily needs (or wants). That we should let the focus of the one replace the other. Perhaps that is a good place to start as we evaluate our daily lives. What have we done? What have we been thinking about all day? Why did we do what we did?

What if we took that evaluation and turned it into a schedule that turned into a routine that turned into a life constantly defined by doing what really mattered?

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