The Swahili have a saying: Hamna yatima, watoto ni wetu sote. It loosely translates to: there are no orphans, children belong to all of us. It’s used to signify the ‘mulitparenthood’ phenomenon typical of African societies. Put differently, it’s used to reiterate that being a parent is a lifelong role. I have seen my mother embody this saying in her various parenting avatars. Mother, aunt, grandmother, mother-in-law, queen mother etc.
My nieces and nephews called on her over the school holidays. A favorite pastime for them. Time has mellowed her ferocious spirit. I see those youngins get away with things that would have sent me straight to the hangman!
My nieces are one and two years respectively. When they are around, I get diapers on my way home. This one weekend, I noticed my nieces didn’t have diapers. After their afternoon bath, my mother dressed them in matching shirts and shorts (I swear they looked so familiar) and let them loose. So on my way back from work, I got more diapers. I figured, the reason they weren’t in diapers is because they had exhausted the previous supply. Imagine the shock on my face when I went to place this new stock only to realize there were plenty more in reserve!
My old lady must have seen the confusion on my face. ‘A seasoned traveller knows why one must have many paths to the same place,’ she said and went on with her bonding session.
It got me thinking, when’s the last time I changed my routine? We stick to routine because it provides us a sense of certainty. The bus/train/plane follows a specific route. Governments financial years are set to a particular time. You’ve probably had the same gym routine for a while. Routines create stability and comfort in a fast-paced, ever-changing world.
BUT, ever wondered what would happen if you changed your routine? Even if just for a day or week. Take a different path home? Shakeup your gym regimen? Try a different flavor of ice cream? Read a different genre?
When’s the last time you did something different? When’s the last time you changed your routine? What was your experience?