Rituals are a part of everyone’s lives. I realize that this is a rather bold statement, but if you stop to think about what your typical day entails, you will no doubt see that there are things that you do, tasks that you preform, places that you may go, that are repeated day in and day out…Yeah, those would be rituals. And to add a little clarity here, I am talking about “secular rituals,” which should never be confused with “religious rituals,” which are a whole other thing! Of course, daily rituals change as our lives change, and the order of these rituals may also change based on whatever else may be going in our lives at any particular time. There are, I am sure, many different ways to interpret what these rituals mean to us, but the two that I most often encounter are: 1. “I’m in a rut, I’ve got to change things up;” 2. “I love my morning rituals!” Now some of you may be thinking, how is a ritual any different from a habit or a routine, which is a fair question. According to one source: “Routines (habits) focus on the what, rituals focus on the why. Whereas the purpose of a routine becomes more mundane and obscure each time it’s performed, a ritual is a celebration of its purpose. While routines (habits) make the ordinary visible, rituals make the ordinary extraordinary.” Now, I’m not so sure I would look at the ritual of my morning tea and reading the newspaper as “extraordinary,” but maybe I’m being too hard on myself! I know that you are all on the edge of your seats wanting to know what I did this morning, so here goes.
Please keep in mind that my morning rituals are those of a retired person, which absolutely changes the rituals playing field and then some. I am an early riser, which should not be confused with someone jumping out of bed at five in the morning. I’m retired, what the hell would be the point of doing that? As of late, one of my morning rituals is playing a bunch of different word puzzle games on my phone – right about now you are either laughing or nodding your head saying: “Me too!” Admit it, they are as addictive as nicotine and coffee! There’s Wordle, Spelling Bee, Squareword, and Quordle. Start them at 5AM and by 7AM you might be able to move on to the next ritual! Maybe. For me, the next thing I normally do, since my phone is already in my hand (ever the opportunist), I peruse the headlines of the day. Not the newspaper headlines, far too depressing that early in the morning. No, I look at what’s making the front page of the countless, and often entertaining online papers, journals, ezines, websites, etc. I highly recommend it, loads of fun! So, this morning I was doing just that when the following caught my eye: “Beyond Meat suspends executive after he was arrested on suspicion of biting a man’s nose” (CNN Business).
Now I don’t want to appear to be unsympathetic towards the poor guy that got his nose bitten, but if you didn’t just read that and burst out laughing…well, you obviously need more rituals in your life. The charges against the perp (It’s not that I don’t want to use his name, it’s that I’ve always wanted to write something where I get to use the “perp!”) are “terroristic threatening” and third-degree battery. I don’t know about you, but when I read “terroristic,” biting someone’s nose is not the first thing that came to my mind. After reading the entire piece, I discovered that this was really a case of road rage – someone bumped into the perp’s (that’s twice if you’re keeping track) car, and he went ballistic, punching out the guy’s back window then physically assaulting him and biting his nose. Of course, since this is CNN Business, the rest of the article goes on to talk about the trials and tribulations of the plant-based “meat” company. And if all this isn’t doing it for you, how about a little additional irony? This unfortunate event happened in a parking garage after a University of Arkansas football game. What’s ironic about that you might ask? Well, even though the practice of using pig bladders to inflate footballs stopped around the 1840s when Charles Goodyear patented vulcanized rubber, footballs are still called “pigskins” to this day. You’re welcome!
Los Angeles 2022