The View from the Rut

What is your routine?

Do you make a pot of coffee the same time very morning out of habit or necessity? Or both? Do you take the same route to work every day park into your assigned stall and then realize that you don’t remember the drive because the route has become instinctual?

Do you walk down the same hallway, climb the same stairs and sit in the same chair day after day after day after day?  The view always being the same. Thinking maybe tomorrow you’ll go all “John Keating” and stand on your desk to view the same surroundings from another view.

Do you sit with the same people at lunch, talk about the same subject matter and own the same opinion?

Do you go home, occupy the same spot on the sofa and watch the same programs? Feeling a sense of loss and confusion if the serial you’ve been watching for the last quarter of your life has been cancelled.

Do you floss right after you brush or do you mix it up some and brush right after you floss?  Does the warm bubble bath at night signal your body to start winding down for the night ahead? Or perhaps a cup of tea or glass or milk?

What can you tell about a person from the little routines of their day?  What is important. What isn’t. Physical health proven by a balanced breakfast and a morning workout.  A sense of centeredness and serenity proven by morning prayers and meditation.

What insight into personality do routines reveal?

When does routine become tradition? Or tradition routine?  Grace before meals.  Church on Sundays.  Long weekend camping trips come hell or a foot of snow.

And when does routine become a disorder?  A compulsion. Deviation from the usual resulting in uncontrolled preoccupation.

Sometimes I can find comfort in routine. Sometimes I feel comfort in routine.  Not that I want to do the exact same thing everyday for the rest of my life.  But when life gets wrinkly and itchy and the edges seem to be cracking, the routine of the day can act as a glue.

Comfort in the familiar.

It’s being able to find balance between routine and spontaneity that is keeping me on my toes.  And I wonder if a person can have any dendrite growth with predictability.

How about you?  How do you keep routine from turning into rut


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