Life can be, for lack of a better term, routine at times. For the good majority of us, our daily activity consists of a circular pattern that we partake in over and over again. Wake up, go to work, wind down, go to sleep. Wake up, go to work, wind down, go to sleep. This is the continuum we are stuck in Monday through Friday until we get two days of relief (although this is not the case for everyone, especially if you work a second job or have other commitments), and then we are back at it again. Some may look at this pattern and not challenge it, thinking “This is just the way life is”. Others of us know better.
Whether we desire it or not, a routine or some form of it, is a necessity for living. It is what we do to have any sort of sanity. In reality, it is nice to have a general idea of what you are doing day-to-day and to be able to accomplish things throughout your day or week. Being the planner that I am, I enjoy having a routine and it fits me well, but at the same time, I see where routines can become dangerous. Routines can become the enemy if you let them consume you. Being consumed by your routine gives you the feeling of being stuck, which is somewhere you never want to be.
Feeling stuck in your routine is like a double-edged sword. On the one hand, the things you are doing in your routine are things you need to do to survive. You will always have to work because we live in a world where money is a necessity to survive (unless you happen to be one of those lucky people who loves what you do so much that it doesn’t feel like work). If you are in a relationship/married and/or have kids, devoting time to them every day is important and something you want to do. If you volunteer, you are doing so because you want to. On the other hand, your routine can make you feel complacent. You stop reaching for things that could make you happy or improve your life because you are “comfortable with your life or feel like you are not capable of more. You stop trying new things because you either have no energy to do so or you lose your desire to. The danger your routine presents lies here and if you want to avoid this, you need to wake up and start living again.
What do I mean by “living” exactly? How do I do this? Well, I would say it starts by creating time to do things that you would not normally do or things you used to do that you seem to not have time for anymore. Take a weekend trip somewhere. Take a class or adopt some new hobbies. Surround yourself with different circles of people. If you are feeling abnormally adventurous, quit your job and move somewhere else. You can do all of these things and still be responsible, so get out there and do them. We are not stuck in the lives we live and it is time to do something about it. Make your routine something worthy of your time (you know, time, the thing you cannot get back once you lose it). Start living.