Finding joy in routine

We all love getting away for a vacation, but isn’t it something how coming home can also be just as nice? The comfort of familiar surroundings, or own bed, and even falling back into our routines.


Almost every Saturday, hubby and I have a routine of going out for breakfast and visiting a farmer’s market to buy food for our week-end meals. A number of months ago we came across a new café offering a yummy breakfast, which became our regular haunt. The server is usually the same, and has even memorized the type of coffee we order (a latte macchiato for me, and a café crema for hubby). Talk about comfort in routine.

Yesterday, as our early afternoon doggy training class was cancelled, we decided to visit a different farmer’s market that is a bit further away. Heading towards where we normally have breakfast when we visit this other market, we drove by a café that I have been meaning to try. Luckily, there was enough time to get into the left turning lane that led to the café as we likely wouldn’t have turned around.

The café turned out to be a lot bigger than I envisioned, and even though a chain, this particular location offered up different things on the breakfast menu with an eccentric décor of oversized armchairs and leather couches. A nice change of routine! But the real fun began after breakfast when I spotted a drugstore across the way.

05222016_Finding joy in routine pic 2Most of us gals can spend hours in drugstores, wandering the make-up aisles, checking out new shampoo and body lotions, and being tempted by the assortment of home-spa body products. But I was on a different mission…the search for beautiful square tissue boxes.

Shortly after we moved to Germany, I began to opt for square vs. rectangle tissue boxes as I found the square ones provided much more real estate on our furniture. If you have ever visited my house, you will know tissue boxes are pretty much available in every room, alongside lip balm and hand moisturizer. But I soon realized that the square versions were much harder to come by, and hardly ever offered in grocery stores – mostly only sold in drugstores.

Germans prefer their Tempo tissue, sold in small, clever resealable plastic packs of tissues. They are convenient for your purse or car, but I don’t think they are as nice lying around the house. Kleenex is not a popular brand here, and it took me almost 5 years to stop asking someone if they have a Kleenex! (Note: My sister sent me a link to order Kleenex online in Germany: )

When living in a smaller village, the range of drugstores is limited (only two here) and they tend to carry the same, boring design of tissues boxes unlike their bigger counterparts who offer up new designs every month. Yes, the picture on the tissue box is very important…it’s like decorating! The designs here can be quite pretty and seasonal – tulips in spring, sunflowers in fall, fresh fruits, beach scenes, nautical themes, Paris, New York, candle light, Christmas trees. You name it. Who needs a day in the spa when you can buy a tissue box and pretend you’re in one? In one drugstore I came across a box with a woman’s face wearing bright red lipstick, which I thought was perfect for the bathroom. So I bought four of them. To my horror, hubby had replaced his bedside box with one of my ladies. I silently hid it from him.

The drugstore we visited yesterday was a chain that I rarely see here in North Germany. And, this particular store was much bigger than the drugstores offered up in my village. I felt like a kid in a candy store! Then, when I found the aisle of tissue boxes, it was like a won the lottery! So many designs to choose from and all of them new and so pretty! Hubby found me trying to balance six boxes of tissue in my arms wearing the biggest smile. The cashier glanced at my lineup of tissue on the conveyor belt and gave me a look like I was off my rocker.

05222016_Finding joy in routine pic 1

I think this should make the next cover of a tissue box

Buying tissue may be routine, but who says it can’t be fun?

4 thoughts on “Finding joy in routine

  1. thanks for the great story. It made me laugh thinking about how I have discussed with a few friends the selection of tissue boxes, when they come in a big pack of six, and you can’t single select. I also like your idea of the square box. I will think of you next time I grab a tissue from the box and will be smiling through my blowing 🙂


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