I need routine – I mean, I really, really need things (including time) in order. I need to get up at precisely the same time every morning, including weekends, meal times are at the same time every day. I have daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly chores. Most people think that kind of restriction would put them in a personal prison – for me it spells security.
Many years ago, when I first noticed the difference, I traced my need for order back ,again, to my early life as a refugee. We had no home – as we know it here. Usually the government provided some sort of shelter – not always – but most of the time we survived in bombed out train stations, make-shift camps or placed with local people who had no choice and therefore resented our presence, so we mostly tried to stay out of their way quietly. Fortunately it was always just a short time before the war front would drive us out and they became homeless just like us except it seemed easier for us since we were used to it. We had no closet which did not matter since we had no clothes to put in it anyway – we owned only what we could wear or carry. We had no kitchen – or even a pot to cook food we didn’t have. We had no beds to sleep in, we were lucky to have a blanket or coat to cover up with. At any moment orders would come directing us to start marching to the next place. Life was completely chaotic.
Then we immigrated to America. The accumulation of things began, requiring proper dwellings with kitchens, closets, bathrooms and beds. I was sixteen and arranging all my possessions, as I acquired them became a pleasure. My neighbor gave me out-dated magazines and I devoured them with pleasure. That is how I learned english – and – how to make a bed properly, how to cook from recipies, how to use patterns to sew on my neighbors old Singer, how to combine different pieces of clothing to look fashionable, how to style my hair – in short, I became American. And, with the help of all this information I became extremely organized. Betty Crocker would be proud of me.
I like living that way and it always amazes me that, since I learned these skills in America most native Americans don’t. Most of my friends and neighbors value their freedom of choice, freedom of will, freedom of doing things their way, in their time – being free.
Is that what freedom is – I guess so. I am so happy I can enjoy my last years of life in a country where no one dictates me how to live. I guess I am the one who is guilty of dictatorship in how I raised my daughters – I am just glad that they remember the love I lavished on them in the process more then the rules.
So, now that I realize the necessity of both living styles I will try to grow wings and learn to fly.