Anything but the Routine

When I started this blog, I committed to write at least four days a week. For the most part, I have. My intention was to rekindle my love of writing, any kind of writing. If by spending a few hours contemplating, composing and writing about something (anything really), I could sharpen old skills, get better at it, love it again, then it seemed worth it.

I am a lazy person in many ways. I love sleeping in. Love it! I am a night owl, and my favorite time of the day has always been just after dark. Strange enough, once I am awake, I am usually quite happy. I wouldn’t say I love mornings, but once I am going, I see no reason to be miserable about it.

If not for me wanting to see my boys off to school, I wouldn’t get up until around 10. As it is, I usually get out of bed just before 8. Before the new year, I would get the kids out the door then crawl back into bed for a nap. I would steal a few minutes in the early afternoon to write, but in order to really commit to the process, to get better, I had to set a more disciplined routine.

Up by 8, then to the gym by 8:30. Breakfast between 9:45 and 10, followed by a shower and a drive to get a warm beverage. Most days I can get to the computer by 11 and be set for the next two or three hours.  This routine works for me, makes me responsible for my work and my effort.

The past few weeks, a few small things have thrown a wrench in my perfect plans: Boys home from school, Sheryl home sick or working from home, meeting with friends or family.

Having to adjust the routine made me a bit frustrated at first. I don’t have to go to work, but I feel that what I write is my work and I felt that schedule was not taken seriously by those around me, which wasn’t true. It got me pondering. I am still working it out, but I think I am becoming  less thrilled with routine.

Some routine can be a good thing, a way to focus on a task or make sure that things get done. I worry that by becoming so set on a structured flow of events, we become complacent, lose track of why we do certain things. We stop finding joy in the process and instead become trapped by the things that were meant to enable us. I started my routine to find time to write, to make writing a priority.  having to adjust that process should not throw my entire day off or make me feel like I have not accomplished anything.

Some things you have very little control over-School start times, work start times, meetings. At certain moments all of us have to be certain places, but how we get there, how we approach those things is where we get to exercise some control. I am sure all of us have experienced that feeling of frustration at how determined our lives can become. We become creatures of habit, doing the same things the same way, every day. When I worked outside the home, I would take different paths to and from the library. It was a small way to break up the monotony. Sometimes that required me to get up earlier, plan a bit better, but I would feel more relaxed at work.

I think creating a morning routine helped me at first, then became cumbersome. I still want to be writing before noon I still want to go to the gym. I still need to eat and I still want my coffee. Tweaking is in order. If not in the order of things than in the way it all works together in my mind.


About Ryan Carty

There are some who call me, Tim?

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