I have a sheet that reminds me to do a few things throughout the day. There can be some minor deviations from the timing, but they need to occur at regular intervals. Such is the life of a pill-popping lunatic who needs certain medications to help with various things. The ritual is the same, I’ve even gone to color coding the lines so that I take the correct pills (just a little trick the doctor told me for those times when I get a little confused!) But that seems like a task list, not really something all too enjoyable.
Some with every meal and others at times picked at seemingly random points throughout the rest of my day. Eat with this, drink with that, or take with nothing and hope it sits fine. Some pills are chalky and feel like sand as I swallow them. Others are smooth like M&M’s and slide down the back of my throat. There’s also this strange little blue liquid that has absolutely no flavor but smells like socks left in a locker far too long.
There was a time when I was much less careful about the timing of certain medications. I would meet the ex for lunch on a Saturday, but far too often an hour or two would elapse before I would take things because she would always be late. There was a price to pay and sometimes it was worth it, other times it just annoyed me that other priorities would mean I stupidly waited and threw off the rest of the day as a result. And later I just started to eat alone and apologize for needing to do the right thing.
When I’m not home I’ve gone far enough to program my phone to not only ring the bell but show a picture of what I’m supposed to take. This is for the benefit of others so they also don’t confuse what has at times been a daunting pile of dots in a hand. I know there are apps for that, but I like my method better.
The fun part of this comes from when I crawl into bed at the end of any given day an sit with a cup of tea warming my hands. I see the list has been checked off and there is nothing more to take that day. Getting through another day, that’s the payoff for all the annoying rituals, tasks, and beeping reminders to do something. If I missed something, well then is the time to re-order my list for the next day. And that is the important part of this all, acknowledging that the sun comes up and with it I hopefully will.
Are there downsides to all of this? Yes, the people around me are cautious in asking if everything was completed. They worry about it in a very different way. Here’s where I get that mixed emotional response that teeters between guilt and love. Sometimes I am reminded of being a kid and someone looking over my homework to see if I completed it.
So that’s my daily ritual that needs to be a part of my life.