revel in repetition

Happy Place, Happy Space

When Older Child was growing up, she had many many food sensitivities & aversions. She remarked one day out of the blue: “Eating is such a pain; and we have to do it so many times a day, day after day. I wish there was a Power Up (like in a computer game) I could just use!”. Thankfully, she has worked through many of these issues and enjoys her meals now.

Thinking of her comment reminds us of the many repetitive things that we do each day/week, and the possible tedium that comes with that. Whenever I run in the Singapore Botanic Gardens in the mornings, I share space with many diligent gardeners sweeping leaves off the walkways. I wonder how they must feel sweeping leaves every morning just to have more leaves fall, and they have to repeat the process again the next day.

I like adventure and discovery as much as the next person; the delight that comes with the Aha! Yet recently, I’ve found myself appreciating, yes, even revelling in repetition, particularly in my morning outings.

When I run on through familiar places, my mind is freed up to ruminate and ponder, and to look out for beauty which surprises, like sunlight coming through the early morning dark.

Running repetitively along established routes also means bumping into familiar people, like Mr Garden Ranger who picks up fallen Elephant Ear Tree leaves by the sackfuls. I finally stopped to ask him why he makes daily rounds, picking up these giant leaves instead of leaving them to compost. We had a conversation about how the leaves trap water which then breeds mosquitoes. This would mean a hefty fine (per leaf found with mosquito eggs) by the NEA, should they choose to inspect. Now I know.

Accustomed circuits also means I get to revisit favourite landmarks, like this one: Swing Me Mama by Dominic Benhura (1995).

This view of the sculpture was taken in September 2017, while the Feature photo was taken just this week, 4 years later.

What are some repetitive activities you enjoy?

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Reading your Joyful Posts brings me to my happy place. I hope having them in one place makes it easier for you to find when you need a bit of happy therapy, too.

If you would like to join in Happy Place, Happy Space, ping back to this post and I will include you next week.

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This post is my contribution to

49 Comments

  1. Sunlight through early morning dark, pondering over fallen leaves, admiring things done by strangers.
    Life is still full of tiny but powerful wonders. Isn’t it?
    Thank you so much for sharing these with my challenge 🙂

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  2. Great question. I like eating so I suppose that’s a repetitive activity I enjoy. Probably the most consistently repetitive activity I do is getting up early in the morning when the house is still, making a pot of coffee, then pouring myself a mug to drink as the day dawns. Sounds corny, but I enjoy doing this every day.

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  3. Ju-Lyn, a beautiful post for happy-therapy – it leaves me smiling and my heart uplifted after a rather stressful day. The statue is fantastic, with a sense of childish fun and freedom, swinging away! Like you there is a sense of comfort for me in repetition and seeing things anew in the familiar. As young however I was like your older child, to be me both eating and sleeping were a waste of time when there were so many more fun and creative things to do! Thank you for sharing your uplifting and positive post and beautiful photos!

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  4. Beautiful sculpture and scenery, Ju-Lyn. Some repetitions are necessary to achieve good results (e.g. exercise repetitions). Nature is organic so you may run the same path but as you’ve discovered, there are changes everyday. Thank you for the mention and for linking up with #weekendcoffeeshare.

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    1. Absolutely – nature is dynamic and will continue to grow despite man’s best efforts to tame (thank goodness for that!)

      As always, you are most welcome in this space.

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  5. I love reading your writing- and you articulated so well of something I experience on the trails in Austin during COVID. The best part of my day was doing the same 4 mile loop along the lake, and I noticed the more I became familiar with it, the more I noticed and appreciated the small things. There was a sense of comfort and familiarity about it. I think reveling in the repetition is such a great practice in gratitude!

    Also, thank you so much for including me in this post! Looks like some wonderful other blog posts here too I’ll have to check out 🙂

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    1. I think whether we do something new, or something repeatedly, it comes down to frame of mind and the desire to give thanks. With that in mind, just about any situation can be blessed & holy (I am thinking of Jesus’ time in the wilderness, and of his astounding miracles; such different circumstances, and yet, encounters with God each time).

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for popping in Cee – and for your encouraging words. Both the sculpture & these huge leaves continue to astound & delight me every time I encounter them.

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  6. Seeing the same people frequently during runs is delightful. We passed a lady recently when the girls and I had slowed to a walk. The nice lady smiled and encouraged us to keep going. I hope we see her again. Interesting info about the elephant ear leaves. I’ll bet that man was delighted that someone took the time to ask him about it.

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    1. Ooooo, you run with your daughters? What fun! It is good fun to have familiar, encouraging faces along our run routes.

      Yes, I think Mr Garden Ranger does enjoy conversation because I often see him chatting with other regulars along the path.

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  7. Ju-Lyn, I love the statue of Mama swinging the little girl. It brings back fun memories both of swinging kids and, if I go way back, being swung. There is a lot to be said for familiar pathways. They change with every season, but you also know all the places that might trip you up. 🙂 Here is a link to two places in CA that were very familiar to me. https://alwayswrite.blog/2021/11/17/wqwwc-49-silent-as-a-falling-leaf-thoughtful-as-a-man-with-a-dream/ Thanks for allowing us to link. 🙂

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    1. I love Mama & Child depictions – and this one is so joyful, and yes, it does also bring me fun memories from childhood.

      Familiar pathways do change each time we encounter them – the magic of walking the same road.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m glad your daughter worked out the eating issues. Most special occasions are marked by eating! I like the sculpture. Both photos are nice, but the one at the top is great, with the pond behind it an all.

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    1. So am I, Trent – especially in Singapore, where many occasions, big or small, take place around food.

      Thank you for your encouragement and affirmation – running past this sculpture is a landmark & highlight for most of my garden runs.

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  9. This post comes to me just in time. I will remember what you say about the repetition and seeing the same sights every day when I see mine again on my daily dog walks, right in the morning light, left as the sun sets. Since the theme Happy Place, Happy Space goes so well together with this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge on the subject of Follow Your Bliss, I wonder if I can link to you as well when my post is ready. “Swing Me Mama” is extraordinary and cheerful.

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    1. I would be sooooo very privileged to link your post, Manja! Looking forward to it!

      Thank you for the affirmation & encouragement – here’s to delighting in our morning & evening outing rituals!

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    1. It is a lovely place, with many different possibilities for variation in run routes 🙂 with the added bonus of being just right across the street from where I live.

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  10. Lots and lots of repetitive tasks, from cooking to cleaning to laundry. Part of life. The repetitive tasks I enjoy all involve outside yard work, from spring through fall. As always, thanks for the mention.

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    1. I’m afraid household chores are not my favourite things to do. But you are absolutely right – they are part of life. Do you miss your yard work & tending to you plants during the winter?

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  11. Repetition can be calming at times can’t it Ju-Lyn? I like the way you asked about the elephant ear leaves, the answer was unexpected! I don’t have too many repetitive moments but admit to getting tired of having to think of what to prepare for dinner each night! Thanks for including my post here too, it’s always much appreciated.

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    1. I guess whether repetition is tedium or calming comes down to perspective, as do many things & situations. Appreciate so much your sharing – I am fortunate that my family is fairly relaxed about meals and quite happy to eat leftovers and repeated offerings.

      You are most welcome in this space.

      Liked by 1 person

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