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>Ring Around the Routine


Everyday, monday through friday, I wake up at 7.

And then at 7:15.

And then again at 7:30.

And sometimes, ok fine, most of the time, one last time at 7:45.

I get ready, go to work, and turn on my computer. I set up my desktop accordingly, print out my orders, then go downstairs to buy breakfast. Once I’m back up, I go down my list of favorite blogs, check my email, and say “Good morning,” to the regulars on Meebo. Then, I proceed to work and bullshit and multi-task until it’s 5:30 and time to go home.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

That is the “typical” part of what I do on an everyday basis. It works and it’s what I’m used to. But it’s boring as hell and sucks the life outta me.

We all have our own routines. Patterns we carefully design to create the perfect security blanket for our lives. Reoccurrences we willingly let happen because they’re SAFE. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m ALL ABOUT safe. Shit, I use my turn signals even when backing out of my own driveway. But some of the best feelings I’ve ever experienced, and some of the best decisions I’ve ever made derived from me saying, “FUCK IT!”

I can barely swim and have never jumped into a pool before, what more off a telephone pole and into the ocean. But damn, the water looks so nice and everyone is having so much fun. FUCK IT! I really can’t afford to go on this trip, I had to scrounge up change just to get on the train this morning. But damn, I’ll be with my best girls on the last night of 2010 so I know it’ll be a blast. FUCK IT! I. Am. So. Scared. No, I’m terrified. And I refuse to let anyone in and get hurt again. But damn, what if he’s “that?” FUCK IT!

Imagine how different the world we lived in would be if everyone stuck to their same old routine and played it safe. There wouldn’t be airplanes, or amusement parks, or trips to the moon. Hellz Bellz wouldn’t exist, we wouldn’t be able to sit anywhere we wanted to on the bus, and there would be no Lady Gaga ‘cuz there wouldn’t have been a Madonna to pave the way. Mark Zuckerberg who? Facebook what?

Lastly, people would never truly know or appreciate love, because they’d never experience pain. They wouldn’t know that it’s possible to share your life with someone without losing yourself, or how effortless it could be to be happy. Because they’re so engulfed in repeating the familiar. Because they’re so scared to be “out of their element.” People would be in boring, unhappy relationships just because they’re secure and it’s all they’ve ever known.

That is not progression. It’s not going backwards either. That is simply walking on a treadmill. You’re moving, and you’re looking ahead. But really? You ain’t going nowhere. So you might as well be standing still while everyone else is taking off and leaving you behind.

Depending on what we’re talking about, routines can be both beneficial and hazardous to your life. Whatever is most comfortable is usually what works. But sometimes you need to let yourself be uncomfortable. Just because something works, it doesn’t mean it will make you happy.

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