When I think about routines I’m immediately brought back to The Shining and the phrase Jack writes over and over: ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES JACK A DULL BOY.
It is in my nature is to agree. I tend to be drawn to colorful chaos. So much so that earlier this year I wrote this:
Each day in each day out
Start same end the same
Routine is routinely sane
Sanity is fragile futility fully
Forget about routine really
Let truth in self express
Break expectations bend
Obligations and be the you
You need because always
I can admit how important it is to develop a routine despite my aversion to it. There’s some freedom in not having to worry about some things because you’ve done it the same way so frequently it’s automatic.
For example: If I picked out my pills and supplements one by one each day odds are I’m going to oversleep and miss days when I’m in a rush, or I’m not paying attention and I’ll fail to catch it when a prescription is running low. I know this isn’t a good idea for me because consistency is key, but for a long time I followed this terrible process. After sucking it up and realizing there was no way this system would ever work I purchased a 7-day separator in fun rainbow colors at the dollar store. Game. Changer. Now once a week I fill them up ahead of time and BAM I don’t have to think about it anymore. I try to remind myself that it took months to establish this simple routine as I struggle to get into a good routine this semester balancing personal/professional/student life.
As helpful as routines can be, it’s still important for me to be spontaneous and live in the moment. I can easily dive from conscious to compulsive where I spend every moment watching the clock, anticipating what I have next, and rushing through all things even the fun ones as if they were obligations.
It’s a process of trial and error that I’ll never fully nail down since life is always changing, but I think the most important part is the awareness I’ve gained. I understand myself and my reactions better. I’m able to make adjustments based on that which allow me to be less stressed and more present. Next thing you know, I’m ruling the world!