I promised myself on board that I would never again complain about cleaning my bathroom or kitchen. After all, the kitchen and bathroom at home have only been used by the family, not 16 or so others. And neither is at an angle of 30+° nor bouncing all over the place.

So what is it about being at home and cleaning up that is, shall I say, err, not quite as “exciting” as doing it on the boat?

One thing, on the boat you only do it once every 7 days, maybe 5 depending on your crew numbers.

But we have other daily routines on board that we do without question, and just do, seemingly willingly and happily. From twice daily deck checks to checking and cleaning the bilges to filling in the log book every hour.

Perhaps it’s the variation in weather, sea state, the fact that you need to do certain jobs to stay safe and know where you are in case the computer navigation systems go down, as well as maintaining good hygiene when so many people are around in such a small environment. Kind of important then!

Whereas cleaning the bathroom and kitchen at home are kind of, well, necessary but with no significant consequences if they’re not done – except of course the hygiene side of things. Oh and your friends might stop visiting and start spreading stories about the squalor in which you live.

The word routine has synonyms such as conventional – everyday – ordinary – unremarkable.

And one of the definitions of the word routine is a prescribed, detailed course of action to be followed regularly.

So that got me thinking about habits. Not the nose picking variety but how we get into the habit of doing things – or is that routine, we get into a routine… and then routine becomes a habit?!?

Hmmm. She ponders a moment……………………..

If a habit is a routine (eek, that word again) behaviour that is repeated regularly and tends to occur unconsciously, then perhaps when I get home cleaning will simply become an unconscious behaviour after a while?


Gordon Parks the American photographer is quoted as saying, “Enthusiasm is the electricity of life. How do you get it? You act enthusiastic until you make it a habit”.

Just perhaps if I choose to act enthusiastically about the cleaning it will become an electric moment in my life and cleaning will become and exciting unconscious habit.

Now there’s a thought.


1 thought on “Routine

  1. Lesley Roberts

    Or is it that on the boat the opportunity to cycle, smell the flowers, drink wine, shop, walk, read, relax, etc isn’t really there so cleaning doesn’t seem too bad as there isn’t much to distract you when it’s your turn to clean. At home we have more choices and options. X


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