the danger of changing your routine

We’re not meant to be rigid in our routines. It’s good to be flexible, open to new ideas, unpredictable. Who wants to be set in their ways when they could be adventurous, exciting, creative?

Grannymar had a post this week about hideyholes, which led to great discussions about house security. That reminded me of The Great Mystery (otherwise known as The Great Security Lapse or The Day Spurs Fan Nearly Had Heart Failure). Yes, of course, it was my fault. It seems I rely on routine and the smallest shift, the slightest tweak, can have potentially serious consequences.

Let me take you back in time… 8 years ago, around the time of Girl1’s second birthday, I had recently returned to full time work. Girl2 was 4 months old and still transportable in a carry about car seat. Getting out in the morning was an event. I’d be up and washed, lenses in, face on, before Spurs Fan left. Then there’d be breakfast, nappy changes, screaming and tantrums (insert own joke here) before Girl2 would be strapped in her wee seat and, feeling safe, I’d run up and get dressed. Downstairs, Girl1 out to car, back for work bags, Girl2, lock door, go.

One day I decided that I could get both girls into the car at the same time, and off I drove, happy and contented that I’d eliminated a step from the morning’s rushing. A success indeed for about 8.30 am. Go me.

When I got home about 5.30pm, Spurs Fan was somewhere between bemused and frantic. He’d come home to find the front door wide open and naturally assumed there was a break in or some sort of disturbance. I imagine him tiptoeing around, practising the moves from tv crime shows. He went into all the rooms and the attic. Everything was where it was supposed to be. The baddies had obviously decided we had nothing worth stealing. They hadn’t wrecked the place either- considerate baddies. He found nothing, not even a stray cat. There was nothing to suggest why the front door was wide open. There was only one remaining possibility, and even speccy wouldn’t be that through other, would she?

Ahem, er, em, yep, she would. Oops. Remember that step I’d eliminated from the rushing? Yes, I’d put Girl2 in the car and then, as usual, as per the normal routine, driven off. I hadn’t gone back to even close the front door, never mind lock it. I left the front door wide open all day. Not in a small town in 1950, but in 2003 Belfast. Dozens of people had walked past. Many more had driven past. Nothing was taken, harmed or disturbed. Mind you, I’ve been careful not to do it again; we’d never be that lucky twice.

So, actually, I’m ok with routines…


9 thoughts on “the danger of changing your routine

  1. Haha this made me laugh… I am a bit OCD when it comes to leaving the house – I have to check everything about 20 times and even then I drive down road and have to fight the urge to go back and check again 🙂 You must have been so relieved nothing was missing! Routine is good 🙂

    And well done on the blog – it’s brilliant!

    1. Now I regularly have to go back and check that I’ve unplugged the straighteners- the neighbours can probably set their clocks by me.
      I was so relieved that day, But Spurs fan was a nervous wreck. There I am, happily causing chaos wherever I go 🙂

  2. What I want is one of those hotel card thingies that turns off all the electrics except a carefully chosen few when you leave the house so you don’t have to spend the Caribbean holiday wondering how the still switched on iron is doing. It’s good to get a reputation for being a bit flighty with front doors and such – people expect a bit of woolliness from you and it takes away the pressure.

  3. I know a household where hair-curlers were left plugged in, in the rush to get out one morning. The couple were not on the way to work, but to the airport en-route to two weeks in the sunshine.

    The shell they came home to was not from the shore …. it was literally the shell of their house. It took about four years before they began to rebuild a new house on the site!

    1. Several years ago in my previous house, i went out to get something from the car from where it was parked on the street & then went back into the house carefully closing the front door behind me. Several hours later, a kind passing stranger knocked on the door clutching my keys. They’d retrieved them from the drivers door & tried a couple of houses to find the owner. Strangely enough noone had attempted to steal the car. They preferred the challenge of taking it a few months later when it was locked & the keys were in the house with me.

      1. We were making things too easy! You reminded me that I left my purse on the front door step one night… The next door neighbour found it the next morning as she came back from the shop, by which time I’d paniced like mad, cancelled all the cards and sworn never to go out socialising again.

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