Pieces of Me

The Tarot of Routine

Late one night, the only sounds echoing in the house were the filter from the fish tank and the odd rustle of hubby on the computer downstairs. The weight of my body was sinking me deep into the mattress. I was exhausted. The blankets were tucked up high, the heater on, yet I was still cold. I was feeling cold from the inside out, in a way that I could not explain.

My mind was restless. I could barely hold onto a thought, before I was twisting with another. The TV was on, yet it was a blur. Unable to focus I switched it off. I turned onto my side and hoped that if I closed my eyes for long enough sleep would come.

As the minutes ticked by, sleep did not come. The wind outside was howling and tugging at the house. I could hear the trees by my window rustling in the gusts that caught them and threw them against the sky. It seemed that restlessness was everywhere that night.

tarot cards

Eventually hubby came to bed, to find me there, awake in the dark.
“Are you ok?”
“Not really.”
“Want to talk?”
“Not really.”
I paused. “Do you have your tarot cards?” I asked him.

Hubby works in the world of management and telecommunications. Yet, there is a flip-side to his suit and tie. He loves tarot. He has spent the last two years studying tarot and does tarot readings. That night, I wanted the Universe to give me a reason to put my restlessness to bed. Whether there is any truth to tarot or not, bore no significance to me. I yearned for some quiet when I had very little else.

Tarot cards

As he turned each card over, a conversation slowly began. We did not talk about our boys or work. It was the type of conversation we used to have long ago, before kids. The type that barely happens now. As he turned another card over, he asked the question that stopped the restlessness in my mind.

“Do you drive your routine, or does the routine drive you?”

His question did not seem like one to stop or answer anything. Yet it did. I knew the answer instantaneously. The routine was the driver. I was a mere passenger. The routine drives the endless checkpoints of my day and swings me to and fro. The routine relentlessly pushes me faster and faster. There are times that I can barely hold on. Barely have control.

Outside the winds started to settle. The trees grew silent and stillness came. I do not want to be a passenger anymore. I do not want the feelings of self-doubt, comparing, pushing, bypassing. I want to take back control. Drive at my pace. Stop when I want to stop.

Tarot cards

Wake up. Have coffee. Make lunches. Wake up kids. Feed kids. Dress kids. Sort out school bags. Drive the school run. Do the washing. Fold the washing. Iron the washing. Buy the groceries. Make dinner. Drive the school run. Do reading. The check points are endless. Every minute can easily be accounted for in my day, every-single-minute.

The day to day is inevitable. It is necessary. Life demands that routine happens. But I need to be in control. The routine cannot be all consuming. There needs to be more than just the routine. The realisation that I wanted to be the driver brought a silence.

There in the dead of night, tarot cards shuffled across the bed, I did not rush to fill the silence. It was time to let go. Time to take back control.

Who drives the routine in your life?

  • Deb @ home life simplified

    Wow I love that process. I had a tarot reading 20 years ago and forgot about it until now. Where is that set from? I hope you start driving your day in a direction you want to go xxx

    • My husband has two sets, the one in the photographs is the Osho Zen Tarot set and it it illustrated by Ma Deva Padma – he uses a traditional set most of the time 🙂

  • LydiaCLee

    I love that question – brilliant. That said, there is nothing as tedious as the school routine – it’s like 12 weeks of punishment, with only 2 weeks of frivolity, that I’m constantly counting down to…

  • Rebecca Thompson

    There seems to be a lot of questioning today and once again, I believe your search for your answer has given me another perspective on my own.
    I love tarots and turn to them every few months to try to get some sort of clarification. I am a novice at tarot and interpret them in a way that makes me happy – not quite the right way to use them. It would be great to have a husband that knew a bit about them.
    Becc @ Take Charge Now

    • It is quite handy Becc, to have hubby be able to do a reading at home, although he doesn’t actually read my cards that often!

  • Marisa

    Restlessness must be in the world at the moment, as my husband and I contemplated a huge opportunity (and change) last night we also discussed the need for more “living” in our lives and less going through the motions and routine

    • Marisa, I hope that you do find the mind set to do more “living” than just going through the motions – but it is so easy to get caught up in the motions! Hope the new opportunity and adventure works out for you guys xx

  • Oh you’ve nailed it this week Josefa! The feeling of being constantly in motion but no longer in control is large in my life at the moment. how do we take back control of a runaway train? I know it will take a huge effort to just STOP everything for a second so I can work things out, but even trying to carve that tiny piece of time out of my currrent routine seems unachieveable. Thanks for putting into words all that has been whirling around in my mind for the last few weeks! I’d love to hear how YOU go taking your control back xx

    • Thank you so much Rachel! Sometimes, it is so easy to think you are so alone in your thoughts and restlessness – I started taking control back yesterday – very small steps. After I got home from the school run, my instinct was to stop at the shops and buy groceries, start dinner, finish the housework I didn’t get done in the morning – but I didn’t. Instead, I made a coffee and sat down to spend two hours writing. What a relief that was! I felt so invigorated. Turns out we still had dinner that night, and I still went to bed with a tidy house – little steps xx

  • bodyandfeetretreat

    WOW – what a powerful post. I wish I had a hubby who did tarot readings – I am always so fascinated by them.
    I think there are many of us who can relate to be driven by the routine. I am trying really hard to break out of the routine now that A is away – it does make it easier because I really only have myself to consider (along with K who pretty much does her own thing a lot of the time). It certainly is liberating making those changes.
    Have the best week and welcome back to the driver’s seat !!!
    Love, hugs and positive energy !

    • Thank you! I’ve been taking small steps every day this week and so far it feels great to have some control back!

  • Leanne Shea Langdown

    Awesome post.
    I definitely drive my routine. I create my day every single day. And when I slip into a point where it is driving me, I start to feel clouded. I have learned that it is better to be majority proactive and only minority reactive.
    But I have had years of practise.
    It still takes conscious effort though …
    Again – awesome post.
    Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit

    • I’m glad you said that it still takes conscious effort, even after years of practice – I find that the moment I let my guard down – routine jumps back into the drivers seat!

  • mumabulous

    Great post. The tarot has been a bit of a secret obsession for me. My husband abhors that kind of mumbo jumbo but I like to think of the cards as merely symbols that triggers the answers that are forming in your sub conscience mind.
    As for being driven by routine – its something that frustrates me but I have to accept it for the moment as per the Hanged Man.

    • Yes, I like the idea that the tarot trigger answers that we already have – hang in there with your routine xx

  • I know that restlessness Josefa and the routine has definitely taken over as I sit motionless in the passenger seat. I came to this realisation recently and now I am taking steps to gain back the wheel. Slowly, slowly. There is a beautiful song by matchbox20 called ‘sleeping at the wheel’, whenever I doubt myself of feel life has taken over I listen to that song and regain my focus.

    Beautiful words, my friend and I hope your control isn’t far away. x

    • I’ll have to search that song Jodi – it is a slow process getting that wheel back – hope we both get back on track, and stay on track, soon xx

  • Mrs BC

    How lucky you are to have a hubby that ‘gets’ tarot! I’ve read tarot for decades, yet my husband still doesn’t believe in it. I’ve never seen this deck before, I’m glad it was able to give you some insight.

    • Mrs BC, the deck is the Osho Zen Tarot set and it is illustrated by Ma Deva Padma xx

  • I understand so much of this. Sometimes it just feels endless, all the toing and froing. Even today I am absorbed my to do list and it’s not jsut today’s its tomorrows as well! I’m exhausted and over it. I want to be in control.

  • I love that you and hubby found a way to really talk and communicate when you needed it most.

    Visiting from team IBOT xxx

  • Beck/craftypjmum

    This post rings so many bells for me, I to am trying to take back control of my out of control life 🙂 good luck sweetie and I hope things fall into place for you soon. x

  • I like to think I drive the routine in this house but more than likely it is my kids!

    • Oh, my boys do so much of the driving in this house, I wonder at times if I can even drive at all?

  • Rina

    I am always fascinated about Tarot but never really try, like someone to read it for me. Awesome post Josefa. I think we all want to be in control for our life but many times the routines take over. It’s everyday struggle to keep the control in our hand.


  • Grace

    Oooh, that is interesting! I have friends who have their tarot cards read but I never have. Oh no, actually, come to think of it, I have once. It was more for a description of my personality and character. I was immensely surprised how accurate it was!
    Do what it takes to gain control, Josefa. And it’s a good thing you recognise that now is the perfect time to do that.

  • Kathy www.yinyangmother.com

    I’m interested in the tarot – I did a course in healing with the Archetypes last year that involved a lot of references to tarot, but I haven’t had time to get any further into it. I totally identify with that feeling of restlessness and being a slave to routine. When I’ve felt like I just needed some answers from the universe I’ve also tried out the I Ching – Book of Changes – you toss coins to form hexagrams that correspond to different messages and each message has its ‘opposite’ or ‘complement’ because conditions are always changing with each line of the hexagram. Ultimately I believe that we have our own answers within, but sometimes we need to call out to the universe or God to help us find those answers, or just to calm our restless mind so we can listen for them.

  • TeganMC

    Wow so great that you were able to find peace in the tarot cards. I think I am in a tug of war with my routine at the moment. Not really feeling that I am winning but not feeling completely run over yet either. I find comfort in the routine, I like to know what is happening and when it is happening.

  • Last night, as I contemplated the week ahead, I recoiled at the thought of our daily and weekly routine. The same tasks, every day, day after day, the same fights, over school, over chores, over after school activities. On one level the routine keeps me safe and functioning, on another, I hate its tediousness. Sometimes I have to break out and do something different. What will it be this week?

  • Katrina Bennetts

    What a great read! It’s difficult with kids that you do feel you need a routine, but I am certainly mindful of not getting stuck in a rut and just wasting the days away without apprciating all life has to offer 🙂

  • Dannie Wallace

    Awesome post! Love tarot card readings. Always have i should get mine out i think mine are sitting in a dark room all dusted *sigh*
    My routine started rather well i was up at dawn and did 2 hours of house chores and feel so complete. As i did sweet F.A all weekend lol

  • Bec | Mumma Tells

    I have had my palms read once… but I couldn’t see the connections being suggested. Yet I am very intrigued by tarot, and will probably have my cards read if the opportunity arises. As for routine – although most minutes can be accounted for in my day, I’d like to think I’m the driver. I seem to like to keep busy… although I could do with slowing down.

  • love – sometimes I yearn for spontaneity and then stop and realise it is in front of me, right at my finger tips xx

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