It’s Procedural


noun: an established or official way of doing something

Thank you for turning me on to Downton Abbey, a historical fiction drama set in England in the late teens and early twenties of the twentieth century.  The grandeur is so inspirational!  And everything is procedural.  The castle is run by Mr. Carson the house butler, an expert at both tradition and procedure.

I love the routine of it all.  The processes of meals and chores and dressing just so.  I run my house the same way.  No, really there are procedures for everything.  Yes, there is a right way to load the dishwasher!  A morning and an evening routine.  And appropriate attire for school and work.  Don’t laugh…you have procedures too, a certain way you shower…do you hold the soap in your right hand, or your left? Do you shampoo your hair or wash your body first?  Most people take the same route to work everyday.  And always eat dinner in front of the TV.  Or at the table?  Or in the kitchen?  The brain loves patterns.

No one calls Mr. Carson neurotic for cleaning the silver or obsessive compulsive for ringing the gong for dinner every evening at 7:00 on the dot.  If only there was that mutual respect in my house!  Here’s the thing…procedures make us feel safer, more confident, at peace.  Even my grown children have this irresistible urge to clip their nails Sunday night (albeit there’s no more Wonderful World of Disney to do it in front of), lay out their clothes for the next day and read a book before lights out.

Ok, it is a bit like brainwashing, but I kind of like that about myself…knowing that my mind numbing, slightly neurotic, obsessive compulsive routine processes became procedures that became my children’s sense of peace, even as adults.  We can all learn a little something from Mr. Carson.

“You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life;                                and the procedure, the process is its own reward.”

Amelia Earhart

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