Routine can be good and, in many ways, it is. Each of us has a morning routine that no doubt includes brushing teeth, taking a shower, getting dressed, having breakfast and so on.

We have a get-ready-for-work routine that may include donning a hard hat and steel-toed shoes, a coat and tie, skirt and blouse, uniform, whatever. Many interrupt the morning commute for a beverage and perhaps a breakfast sandwich.

We humans like routines because they’re familiar and we’ll admit that “strange” can be unsettling.

Since retirement, my morning routine has changed dramatically. Oh, there’s still some “normal” to it. Every day I feed the cat, think about getting dressed in “real clothes” instead of sleep attire (This process can take hours.), discover dirty dishes in the sink that may or may not have been there when I went to bed, pick up items that a certain feline has knocked onto the floor, contemplate a cup of coffee, and decide if I want to start the day by watching the news or checking on whose murder is being featured on “ID.”

After all that, I check and delete email and glance at Facebook. The email is primarily from an entity that’s selling something at a price I can’t pass up . . . but I pass it up anyway. OK, sometimes I look, but usually common sense wins and I delete the “amazing offer.”

Facebook has provided another routine item to my day and that is “hiding” advertisements. Notice how everyone wants your money?

On Monday morning alone, I saw an ad for Outlaw Soaps urging me to give the gift of “sustainable, adventure-smelling cleanliness.” Seriously, is this for real? Then there was one trying to sell me a cat harness. Ha! For weeks, if not months, I’ve been deluged with ads for a floppy fish that “cats love.” I honestly considered it until I saw the price.

Evidently, about a thousand vendors sell this cat toy because no matter how many times I click the “hide all from” box, the same fish, offered by another vendor (Or is it the same vendor in disguise?) shows up.

Perhaps the most annoying FB ads are the ones for medications. They don’t bother telling you what ailment they’ll cure or the suffering they’ll relieve, but they’re ubiquitous and I’m tired of them.

In the past couple of days, I’ve clicked “hide all from” Medicare plans, the Fuller Brush Co. (It still exists? Who knew?), organic bath and beauty products, several kinds of socks, bedding companies (Each of which promises the best night’s sleep ever.), cookie delivery, wine delivery, boots, candy and nuts, cactus gardens, and on and on.

This is not a change of routine that pleases me. I grumble and growl at the computer screen each morning. This bombardment is the electronic version of sorting junk mail.

Nobody likes junk mail.

To make matters worse, for each one that I attempt to hide, two more pop up to take its place! Evidently Avon wants me, a place in Vermont thinks I need hanging planters, an interior design company is begging me to check its website. The icing on the cake, as it were, is a firm that wants to help me find peace of mind with the elder law services it offers. Do they know something I don’t know?

Guess I’ll have to limit my screen time, put myself on “time-out” so to speak because this change in routine is most unsettling.

On the other hand, I wouldn’t want to miss something I really need. Maybe I can do it gradually.

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