Sunday, June 4, 2017

Breaking Routines We Hate

Okay, maybe hate is a strong word. But why do we stay in routines that we find boring? Unstimulating? Exhausting?

On Friday, a coworker of mine who I do not know very well, retired. He left that building at noon on Friday after 10+ years and never has to come back (unless he just really wants to, I guess). According to the coworker who sits on the other side of my pod, this man who retired sold his house and most of his things and is taking two bags down to Mexico City. His plan is to stay in AirBNBs and travel. He speaks Spanish already and will have a bit of retirement funds coming to him each month to help his bank account. He's not married and has no children so no one that he is leaving behind or having to take with him. My podmate was just amazed and kept seeming to pine after the adventure that the retiring coworker was heading toward.

I told him that he could do that, too. Why wait on retirement? If you think it sounds like a grand adventure and you want in on it, why not just do it?

He laughed and said no way. He has a wife and two teenagers. He is the guardian of his ill parent. He isn't eligible for retirement yet. He can't possibly do something like that.

The truth is, though, we do what we ultimately want to do. We get stuck in the same routine and start to feel like it is a part of who we are -- there are no other options. We do what we think we have to do.
"Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right" --Henry Ford
Part of our dinner from last night.
We tried lamb, duck, and pork
And maybe switching up our routine can be on a much smaller scale. Maybe it doesn't mean we have to sell our home and possessions, leave our job, and move out of the country. Maybe it just means seeking a bit of adventure within our normal routine.

For example, my husband and I enjoy going out to eat on the weekend. It is part of our entertainment. Recently, however, I have not found it as entertaining. Rather, eating out has become much more mundane for us. We keep frequenting the same places and fail to spice it up with variety. So last night, we tried a new restaurant in a part of town we have not been to in a year. Not only was the area we visited quite different and much improved since last year but trying new food and sitting in a new atmosphere was a breath of fresh air. We not only tried the restaurant but also hung around the area for almost three hours. Our daughter enjoyed the change in scenery as well.

If you're bored with your normal restaurants, eat somewhere else.  If your job is not challenging or has become mundane, ask your boss for a new assignment or find a new place to work. If your city has no longer become exciting, explore. Or move.

This world is too bold, too diverse, and too exciting to for us to be stuck in routines we hate. It is simply too easy to get around and too easy to try new things. There are no excuses. The only chains are the ones that exist in your mind -- the ones that you have created for yourself. So believe that you can and then do it.

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