A while back, I had a conversation with an old friend about routines we settle into in life. A couple of weeks later, I had a nearly identical conversation with two other friends and and also with a family member. When I later posted a short blurb on this subject to my social media, someone else entirely took it very much to heart. That blurb, which is repeated below, applies perfectly to absolutely all of the aforementioned people, yet every single one of them, after having read my initial post, found direct and very personal truth in it. This really highlighted for me the universal truth found in this as well as the ironic comfort that we can all find in the fact that even in a situation that we find so unique, we are truly never alone. Even something that, when isolated in our individual minds, seems so detailed and personally specific, genuinely applies to so many.
When you choose routine to an extreme…
Same thing every Monday
Same thing with the same person every Tuesday
Same thing with the same people every Wednesday
Perhaps Wednesday cancels, but you hold that spot open only for previous activity – just in case they reinstate
Same thing every Thursday
Same weekend routine
When (yes when, not if) boredom arises, it is of your own creation, born from routine, not relationship.
How many of us parents of kids in sports, especially when our kids are of the same age, plan many of our activities around our sports families…spending the same nights of the week with the same families doing the same things…all because it works with our practice and game schedules?
Families with children with long term medical conditions group together and often practice the same…repeating the same activities with the same people on the same nights, because there is comfort in the routine and the empathetic company of those who truly understand.
People in support groups fall into routines as well…much for a combination of the two reasons mentioned above. If they are very active in those groups, the schedule works for them – both in respect to time and also to their progress. Additionally, the empathy found in those groups is a natural draw to the same activities and people day after day and week after week.
People who live in large and very social neighborhoods can also fall into the same patterns. It’s hard not to when there are always social activities available right there in your own back yard.
All of these circumstances form tight groups…circles if you will…bubbles…domes, we all call them different things, but we all know, if we take a moment of pause for an objective and honest evaluation, that we grow to live inside our own and forget that there are so many others out there doing the same. We get so used to our own circle that we forget there is another world outside of it. That can not only jade us to realities of what other people live and do, but it can also make it very difficult for anyone new to ever come into our circle for any real amount of time.
We, as a people, do not like change. When we get too settled into our circles and someone new comes into it, we have a hard time finding, much less accepting, where exactly they fit in. How do we find time to share with this new person or these new people when all of our time is completely devoted to the ones already on the inside? And when we decide that we do want to find that time, how to we find a way to take it away from another part of the circle? It drives discomfort and creates discourse and in so many cases, eventually pushes the new person right back out the door they came in.
As humans, we form habits out of the things we repeatedly do. That is, after all, the very definition of the word. Often times, habit breeds boredom. In situations like the ones outlined above, many of us complain about that very thing…boredom. We can never quite seem to figure out, however, the root of that boredom. We LOVE our circles like we love our family. Many of us actually consider our circles to truly be part of our family. We want that time with them. We may even crave it. That is completely natural and there is unquestionably nothing wrong with that. The conflict comes in when we can’t see that our boredom actually stems from our bubble…not from the people per se, but from the periodicity.
If you are finding yourself in a place of boredom in your life, take a look at your surroundings. Then take a second look at your surroundings. Take your next look at your routine. Settle into that a bit and really analyze your rhythm. Don’t eliminate the people who make your world home. Change up your routine a bit instead. When done right, a change in routine can expand your circle. With that expansion comes a little more room in which you can let the excitement flow. Whether it be the excitement of doing something you’ve never done or the excitement of a different kind of just doing something other than the norm on any given night, excitement is excitement and it is always what you make it.
There are too many moments of potential greatness in life…to many chances at amazing…too many souls that can set each other on fire…to ever allow boredom to be any form of excuse or habit. We all need each other and our circles can overlap. After all, interlocked circles will always – always – be stronger than individual ones.
Know your circle – both inside and out. Have more than one. Let them interlock. Let the love inside and know you are worthy do to so. If you do all of that, the excitement and the happiness that comes along with it will easily take care of itself.
You can follow me at sunshineandbluemoon.blogspot.com and, as always, make it a great day!