To a certain extent, I thrive on routine. My mental health appreciates it when I get up and go to sleep about the same time most days. I like having a pretty regular work schedule. There’s some comfort in knowing what I’m going to do the next day. I’m more productive when I have a good idea of what kind of time I’m going to have during the week.
In smaller ways, I like keeping a certain rhythm to particular times of my day. I watch the same succession of reruns in the afternoon. I take my shower at about the same time every morning. I go through the same basic routine in the shower every morning.
I like a certain amount of repetition. It’s comforting.
That said, I’m not immune to ruts. I’m in one right now, as a matter of fact.
Liking routine doesn’t mean I want to be doing the same things ALL the time. It means I like doing the same things most of the time. The rest of the time I like to do other things to break from the routine so I don’t resent the routine.
When I’m in a rut, I find I get very bored very easily. Usually, I don’t have time to get bored. I work seven days a week and when I’m not working, there’s usually something else I can think of that I want to do. Something fun. But I can’t think of fun right now. Fun costs money (most of the time) and I can’t afford to spend much of that right now. Fun usually involves other people, but the other people I know are either too far away or too busy doing other things.
And all of the potential fun sounds either boring or too much trouble. When I start to do something that should be fun and distracting and a change, within minutes a voice in my head is saying, “Bored now.”
Everything gets boring when I’m in a rut. I’m tired of looking at the clothes in my closet. I want new ones. Most of the clothes I have are easily over five years old, if not more. I haven’t had the money to get new clothes for a long time and I’m aching for a new wardrobe. New clothes would help me bust out of the rut.
It doesn’t take much to get me out of one. A little nudge, a little push, a little change. A little deviation from the routine. Like new clothes. I ordered a new cardigan the other night and you have no idea how excited I am to have this new article of clothing. It’s enough to make some of my clothing new again.
It’s a tiny step to breaking out of my current rut.
A new pair of jeans. Some new jewelry wire so I can try my hand at wire rings. A little bit of Christmas shopping. Playing cards at my aunt’s house. These are things I’m all looking forward to, things that have the potential to bust me totally out of my rut in the next few weeks. I’m in a rut, but it’s not that deep yet to require major moves. Yet.
If I let it go much longer, though…
Because though I might wear quite the groove in the ground with my routine, that doesn’t mean I want to live there.