Day 363: Putting Some Color In Daily Living
https://dreamersjourneytolife.wordpress ... ly-living/
Life is a lot about routines. It is a lot about doing the same thing over and over again with very little variance – unless – it is done differently. And this is what I want to pursue the coming week – create variance/exploration in the small and mundane – in that which recurs day after day, week after week.
What I have realized is that it is not possible to escape routine – it is a cemented part of daily living. We have to eat, we have to shit, we have to sleep. And then you have to survive, and there are many routine actions connected to survival; working, cooking, cleaning and so on. Then there are a few breaks from the routine. There are moments that can be spent on a hobby, on traveling and exploring, on moving out from the routine – though – seen as a whole – those moments are few and far in-between.
The main stream opinion is that routines are bad, limiting, confining, and that we need to escape them from time to time. Because the general view on routines are negative, a lot of people live out their lives in a fight against the routine that floods their lives. We sit by our desks at work the entire week longing to go somewhere else, and then when Friday arrives, we finally feel FREE – and we go out and party to break the monotonous daily struggle. Alcohol and other drugs are used to feel free, excited, special – something MORE than what we normally experience throughout the week.
In this blog however, I am going to advocate a different solution to routine. Firstly, I want to stress that routines are not bad. It is not the routine in itself that makes a moment uneventful and unexciting. Routines are merely, a part of life, and actually, they offer opportunities for us to practice and create INTEREST – real INTEREST – in the sense that we literally have to decide to be interested and present in what we are doing.
Secondly, it might be that it is exciting to do something different and live without routines, though routines do have a quality in that they bring stability and clarity. With a good routine, we can put our attention unto more important things. An example would be, that if we have a good routine when it comes to waking up and preparing for work, then we can instead put our attention/effort into being aware of the environment ad being more physical and grounded. Routines thus, are effective in establishing a solid structure, that can be used as a support to start developing internal living skills, such as presence. Having routines also makes life predictable. And while that might not be good every time, it is supportive when it comes to relationships and communication. Because with a good routine established, everyone involved knows what to do and what to expect – there are no surprises.
Thus, routines are cool – however – there is a problem if we accept and allow ourselves to become mentally and physically limited by our routines . When we do not allow ourselves to test something new, or when we are faced with something new, but we stick to our routine anyway, that causes problems, instead of being flexible and tackling the new issue with a new solution. Routines must not become a comfort zone and that can easily happen when we begin to trust our routines more than we trust ourselves. In such instances it can be scary to push beyond a routine and try something different – here its important to remember that it was us that created the routine and as such we are also able to create something new in its place.
For me lately I have faced the point of judging routines, and feeling limited, confined and held back by them. Obviously, this has to do with the point that I have recently become a father. My baby is very much bound and supported by having routines – which is why I have adapted and begun to create more of them. It is challenging in the sense that life without routines feels exciting, fresh and rejuvenated. Life with routines on the other hand can easily feel stuck, uninspiring and trite. What I have realized is that we do not have to experience routines like this. We are able to use the supportive stability and structure that routines offers while at the same time being inspired, refreshed and new. It is all a matter of changing our approach – our STARTING POINT to life – to routines as a matter of fact.
An example would be the following: I wake up on a Monday morning. My routine is to get out of bed, make breakfast, shower, dress and get to work. It is basically the same every day. However, each of these moments in my morning, even though I have lived them countless of times before, offers and opportunity for me to create something new. Let me take the first moment in my morning, get out of bed. That can be done in many ways. What I have done as of recent is to remain in my bed for a while after I have and give myself a moment to feel my body. To breathe, relax my muscles, and prepare myself for the day to come. To check in with myself and decide upon what words/expressions that I am going to push/pursue in the coming day.
Then with preparing and eating my breakfast. Here, what I have done is that I have covered myself with a blanket and eaten the breakfast in the sofa and pushed myself to relax and enjoy my breakfast. A moment of silence, breathing and preparing myself to go out into the world. At work, I have pushed myself to start taking walks each day after lunch – as a way to stretch my legs and support my general well being. And this is something I have had to will myself to do – because my tendency have been to feel that I do not have enough time to go for a walk. It is interesting how the mind works in this regard. The only thing that is seen as adding to productivity is that which is seen to have a direct connection with manifestation of a project/task. However, all of the soft values, such as feeling rested, replenished and rejuvenated, stretched and content in my body, those are not seen as important. That is obviously a mistake. For me, I can clearly see the difference in how I am a lot more efficient when I am rested and refreshed, compared to when I am stressed and strained.
Routines thus, they are meant to be redirected and walked within awareness. Supportive habits could be one of the most empowering things that I have experienced. Things that I do on a daily basis that supports the well being of me and others. Hence, I will not judge routines anymore, but rather learn to live with them and make the most of them.