Ruts and Routines

Ever feel stuck in a rut, as if you were navigating the same maze every day? Or feel so routinized you wonder if scheduling some time for spontaneity would work?

Don’t get me wrong — routine is a necessary thing. Without it we’d not be able to hold down jobs, stick with exercise plans, or pursue active interests.

But routine gets on my nerves once in awhile. Maybe because I’m a Gemini and need constant change. If you believe in that kind of thing,

I get up, often quite early, grab some breakfast, slip a computer into my backpack, grab a camera, and head out for the first half of my morning walk. I walk to Starbucks, trying to make the walk more interesting by changing my route a little each day. But there are only so many ways to reasonably walk there.

Once there, I get a grande mild (sometimes a bold), set up my computer, and start my writing session. I like keeping a regular writing schedule and have been averaging 1000 words a day in my journal, plus anything extra. I’ve got a strange fiction story on the go. I have some essay ideas I want to work on. I like adding new content to my blog. It’s all good … except …

It can begin to feel boring too. One of the troubles with being retired is that I have no sense of the days of the week. Monday’s pretty much the same as Saturday, except I put out the garbage on Mondays. The main way I track the week is via my pill case. Let’s see — Wednesday’s compartment is empty so this must be Thursday.

I’ve started playing with my right-brain/left-brain balance just to shake up the neurons. Some while ago I began using my mouse left-handed. That took a bit of adjustment. My motor skills with left-handed mouse have improved considerably.

Today I took up drawing again, with a twist. I’m not gifted anyway so I figured it really doesn’t matter which hand I use so I’ve starting drawing left handed (I’m right handed of course). Yeah, it feels weird. But the drawings, I’m sad to say, don’t look the worse for it.

That’s the challenge, for me. Keeping a good, solid routine of cardio exercise, writing, photography, and being with the family, while staying fresh at the same time.

I saw my dentist in Toronto yesterday. That was actually exciting. I got to smell the city air (ugh), watch the traffic, ride the subway, and have coffee with a friend. Then ride the GO Train home and have dinner with Marion and Trevor. It was like coming home after work.

After dinner we clean up, settle into our couch, check our email, then watch some DVD’s. Season Three, Disc One of CSI: Crime Scene Investigations arrived in the mail. We’re also watching Battlestar Galactica and Dexter Season Three.

After a couple of episodes (three if we’re hooked) we’ll usually retire to bed and read for some time. I’m currently re-reading Pratchett’s Time Thief. Marion is plowing through some mystery fiction from the library. I have a high stack of reading material to get to.

You know, put like that, being in a routine doesn’t sound half bad. Maybe it’s the appreciating of the routine I need to work on.

6 thoughts on “Ruts and Routines

  1. Aaaah, Gene. Sounds like a rut many of us could aspire to. Yours is a life well-lived.

  2. Don’t worry, Gene. When you least expect it life tends to throw you the most wicked curve balls. In my experience they usually curve in and hit you hard, where it hurts. But seriously, you need both, routine and variation.

  3. Bob, I have to agree with you on that. Watch out for the curve balls. And we definitely need both routine and variation. It’s a balancing act.

  4. Nice entry Gene,

    I can relate…but now with my personal life having changed so much, my same old (and much loved) routine that’s been in place forever is so suddenly gone.

    I don’t know what to do with myself and making a new routine just isn’t coming together as quickly as I would like! I need to make one fast, so I can settle down into it and say I actually have a routine and I like

    Oh’s certainly keeping things interesting…

  5. Richard, I certainly understand and empathize. Hang in there and try some different ones on for size and see which ones feel right.

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