On routines and the breaking of them

It’s amazing how quickly we humans can create routines for ourselves. Even without realising, we develop little habits that shape our every day, and are seamless to make but downright impossible to break. Creating routine, it seems, takes no effort whatosever, whereas breaking them takes a whole lorra deliberate graft.

I never really noticed my daily routine until today, but I truly am extrememly predictable. I start to make the bed while I am in it in the morning, straightening the covers around me as I stretch and yawn and complain out loud to myself about it being 5.30am already. I get out of bed and wander bleary-eyed to the kitchen, where the very first thing I do is put the kettle on. While that boils I put away last night’s washing up, get the milk and my lunch out of the fridge and put them on the side by my mug so I won’t forget them. I hop from one foot to the other because I’m always busting for the loo, but I don’t let myself go until my tea is made – then I can go to the bathroom and begin my ablutions. Even within the shower I have a specific order, one which I’ve followed since high school at least…

I get dressed in a particular order, put on my make-up in a particular order, dry the right side of my hair first, and take my daily outfit shots BEFORE downing my tea and running out of the door. I cross the roads at designated points – if something is coming I have back-up options, but they’re designated too. Not that I’ve ever actually designated them, you understand; they just happen to be where I cross the road. I root about my bag for my train pass at the traffic lights to save time when I get to the station. On the platform I have a specific spot on a specific bench next to a specific lady, and if someone is in my spot, I have a specific post against which I lean. On the train I sit in the seat without a window so that I can snooze, and at Oxford station I go through the second nearest barrier, before boarding the bus and selecting a seat on the right hand side up the stairs (because in January it was cold and that’s where the heaters are!). At work I load up my computer, load up various web pages in a specific order, check first my work and then my personal emails and THEN make the first round of tea of the day – assuming no-one else has arrived while I’ve been email checking and so beaten me to it!

I’ll stop there because this is getting boring even for me, and I’m sure you’ve got the gist by now…

This week I’m having to deliberately break my routine, all in the name of shade-seeking. And it’s hard! I never realised before how much I float through life on decisions already made. And it got me to thinking about my “everything will sort itself out” attitude in general, my faith in the universe to iron life out in the long run, my ideal that everything hapens for a reason… It got me to thinking that, while I’m not losing sight of that philosophy any time soon (because I believe it is true!), there are elements of life that I should perhaps be challenging. There are things I want from life that I’m expecting to fall into my lap, that I’m not actively chasing. And I think a part of that boils down to a personal fear of failure, an irksome little voice that says if you try and fail then you’ve no-one else to blame.

Isn’t life easier when you can blame everything on the fates?

I’m not sure where I’m going to take this little epihpany, which dream to chase after first or which path to forge for myself, but I do know that I can’t just let it go. Until now, every aspect of my life, the good the bad and the ugly; the dreams and the nightmares, have been like helium ballons, their strings clutched in my grubby hands. When one wriggled free I just let it go to float into the ether with a shrug of my shoulders – “You win some you lose some – there’s no point fighting with fate…” I need to start weighting those ballons I want to keep, tying them around my wrists – even protecting them from sharp objects! (Have I milked this metaphor enough yet??) ¬† I need to start taking responsibility for my own life, to start making decisions that affect outcomes and effect changes.

Now if only I could work out where to start…

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2 thoughts on “On routines and the breaking of them

  1. OMG you have managed to verbalise exactly where my head is at the moment! I’m currently plotting what to chase and then I’ll be off after it…! x

  2. Having read that I know where I went wrong!
    I doubt you will make the same mistakes! Hold on to your dreams, be focused and make your own luck. Then, when you reach old age, you’ll have no regrets. xxx

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