I Keep Finding More Verification For the Link Between Safety and Structure

When I was in school I wasn’t aware that we were being taught to have a routine. As I look back now it seems obvious. We spent a certain number of hours in school, wore the “look” of the day (the NYC Public Schools didn’t require uniforms – however the look was very “uniform”) went to the park in the afternoon and then did some of our  homework, had dinner and finished out homework.

In addition I had to go to Hebrew School four weekdays for an hour and forty-five minutes each day and then, again, on Sunday mornings. I wished I didn’t have to leave my friends early. In my last two years of Hebrew School the hours were a bit later and, while I had more time with my friends I couldn’t eat dinner with my parents because my Dad’s routine was to eat at 6PM. I did miss those dinners.

School holidays came at the same time each year. Summers for me were at “sleep away” camp. Camp had a very structured season.

I may sound like I’m complaining about my childhood’s structured life, but you know what? There was a safety in it. I knew exactly where I was supposed to go. I will admit that I did get a kick out of being “bad” and sneaking on “sling- backed” shoes on my way to school. The superintendent of the apartment house we lived, in Bensonhurst Brooklyn, let me hide my sling-backed shoes and Garrison belt in a secret place in our lobby. The tough girls wore sling-backs and Garrison belts. My parents didn’t want me to wear them. I also loved sneaking out of high school on Wednesday afternoons to see Broadway matinees.  If there was no formal structure to begin with, I’d would have remembered the show but not the event that led me to get to it.

My wonderful Uncle  was a teacher at New Utrecht High School and he’d get passes for my friends and I to leave early. Arnie passed on, at a young age, many years ago. In his short life he helped more students than most teachers ever did. If there are any New Utrecht grads from the 50s reading this, I’m sure you’ll know I’m speaking of my Uncle Arnie Horowitz. (I had to get that plug in for his spirit.)

Every school day we’d meet in Chookie’s, the ice cream parlor across the street from New Utrecht. We’d play our favorites on the juke box.  Those of us in the glee club would get there early – 7:15AM – so we could practice harmonizing before going to our daily rehearsal which began at 8:00AM. We had to be in our “Home Room” by 7:45AM. The point I’m trying to make is that there was a clear structure in our morning and, in fact, in our whole day.

A movie was made about “The Selling of Chookie’s” and New Utrecht was featured in the opening scenes of the TV          show Welcome Back Kotter, which starred Gabe Kaplan a Utrecht alumnus. (Had to get that plug in too!)

During the summers, from age 7 through 17, I attended camp, The first year I went to a day camp and I remember not being very happy to go there. Then I attended Camp Reena, a “sleep away” camp in Massachusetts. Our days were totally structured, with a few “free periods” here and there. The summer as a whole was also structured. Every summer we had Sing, County Fair, the Group Shows, The Senior Show (a joint musical with the boys from Camp Mohican, which was across the lake), Socials for the girls and boys, Color War and the Burning of the Numerals on Lake Aladdin, which ended the season. There was also Saturday visiting hour (which occurred after our Saturday service) during which the Mohican boys would come across the lake to visit us.

Mothering offered a structured day. I had many activities to do, to nurture my son. I loved every minute of it and enjoyed taking my young son to the museum and to all the great and inexpensive events the city offered children.

I find myself constantly seeking structure in my life now that I work for myself and need to create my own structure.

It hit me that the universe (and, I assume, all the other universes – since I doubt that there’s only one) is also structured.  It’s when the structure goes awry that what we call travesties hit. The planets have to each travel around their star (we call our star “The Sun”) in a certain pattern and each at a certain speed.  Our bodies work in the same fashion.

After looking at this, I won’t complain about formality anymore. If the particular formal structure that’s created for a “job” or a “show” etc. doesn’t seem to work to create the desired result, then I’ll do my best to see that it’s revised until it does work.

Once again – this turns out to be what my book: “Find Your mini-Qs(?): Reveal the Slim, Strong, Sexy Star You Truly Are! at Age 50, 60, 70, and Beyond” is really about. It’s how life works. Finding your minimum daily, weekly, etc. activities to get the results you want means designing the structure that works for you. At first glance it may not seem the same. But when I thought about it I realized that designing your mini-Qs (as I call them) gives that sense of safety and well being that formal structure gives us. Even though it’s become fashionable to debunk formality – that’s what any life schedule is. I realized that what I’m about is making these formalities feel informal and natural – to make them what we call FUN!

I think we need  “healthy” vacations from our usual formality every once in a while. However – even the vacations include a certain structure of their own. I think we get anxious when there’s no structure at all.

In my next post I’ll talk about any “Structure” having to be put in place by a “good heart”.


I’d love to hear what you think about this.





Published in: on July 13, 2012 at 9:20 pm  Comments (12)  

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12 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I am not sure where you are getting your info, but good topic.
    I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more.
    Thanks for great info I was looking for this info for my mission.

    • HI Danielle,

      I’ve been doing lots of research and taking some courses at Unity Center of NY and also thinking about lessons I had as a child in Hebrew School. I realized that at the faiths came out of the same history. Islam came from the same immediate family. Granted Ishmael’s mother wasn’t legally wed to Abraham he grew up in the same household. Did all these events happen as written? Who knows. We usually can’t write about what happened last week exactly as it happened. I doubt that matters. What I get from the story is that peace and love were it’s aims.

      Best wishes in your studies,

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  4. Thank you so much, Ann.

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    • I’m sorry I just saw this. What is rss, Arlie? I’m not that technologically up to date.

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    • I have to say that i don’t get that much spam on this. Word Press sends me every comment for approval. I’ve only had two shall we sat “crazy sounding” comments so far. II”ve been publishing this blog for a couple of years now. I just didn’t approve the shall i say “odd” comment and it didn’t get published. Find out if you can get comments send to you with the log printing company you use – before the comment is printed – and ask for the right to not allow any “off” comments to be added.

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    • I’m so sorry that I didn’t reply to you sooner. there was a technological glitch on my end. I’ll need to look for more sites for information for you.

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