At 8:10 a.m. every Monday morning, I hear the “Monday Morning Beep”. I have no idea where it’s coming from; I suspect it’s the lightning detector in the field by our elementary school. Without fail, the beep sounds every single Monday morning at exactly 8:10.
Every day at 8:30 a.m. I take my daughters to school. Every day, I see my neighbor walking down our block at 8:45 a.m. to go to nine o’clock Mass. The mail comes at 3:15 p.m., I leave the house to pick up the girls at 3:20, and the dismissal bell rings at exactly 3:30 p.m.
Children and cats are unpredictable. Yet both thrive on predictability. If a child’s routine is different, their behavior might change…for the worse. Temper tantrums erupt. My brother’s cat routinely expects a clean litter box and if it is not clean, she pees in the bathroom sink, predictably forcing my brother to clean the litter box.
Some people go out of their way to be unpredictable. They hate a predictable life. And isn’t that, in a way, predictable?
One of my favorite movies is Mary Poppins. I still love watching it. I crack up every time Ellen, the Banks’ maid, yells “Posts, everyone!” and everyone runs to hold onto vases, a lamp, shelves and the fish bowl. And then BOOM! The Admiral shoots off his cannon. Every night at the exact. same. time. Bert tells us at the beginning of the movie, “What he’s famous for is punctuality. The whole world takes its time from Greenwich, but Greenwich, they say, takes its time from Admiral Boom.”
Even though predictability seems boring, somehow it knits our lives together. It keeps time secure and in place. It helps us make sense out of our world.
This November, this month of blogging every day, I’ve tried to become predictable and publish a post shortly after midnight. Whether it’s long or short, whether I feel it’s ready to be read publicly or not, I click “publish”.
Are you predictable?