Creature of Habit

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I am a creature of habit. I guess we all are, to some extent. Our routines are often determined by work, family, pets, and other responsibilities. Fortunately, some of our routines are for pleasure, as well. But I also love spontaneity. Spontaneity is fun. Spontaneity keeps me young. Spontaneity is important. Burt sometimes I find myself actually scheduling spontaneity! Isn’t that a kick?!

When I find myself in the midst of some daily routine, I hear that voice in my head saying, “You are in a rut. You are becoming your father. You are doing the same thing every morning.” This scares me. But it is me. These are the times that I start scheduling spontaneity. Shake up those routines. Would it hurt if you made the coffee after feeing the cats? Could you fathom taking your pills after brushing your teeth?

If I scheduled some spontaneity, I could possibly, with a period of adjustment, get used to the changes. But then wouldn’t those changes become my routine? To break my habits, wouldn’t I have to do things differently every day? That would be truly spontaneous. Just whatever comes into my head to do next. Follow my heart. Toss caution to the wind!

But then my OCD tendencies would kick in and I’d start to fear that I’d forget something I should be doing. I don’t know if I could deal with all that random behavior. How would I ever keep track of whether I had completed all of the required tasks? I’m sure without a schedule or list I would miss something.

I guess I require a mix of structure and spontaneity in my life. Maybe the chores have to be structured, but the fun can be spontaneous. Let the dog out, make the coffee, put the eggs on to boil, feed the cats, let the dog in, make the bagel. Pack up for work, make sure the coffee pot is off, make sure the stovetop burner is off, run through your list in your head to make sure you did all those things, close the garage door as you drive out, look back to make sure you closed the garage door as you turn the corner. Yep. Gotta have the routine for that stuff.

But when I get home from work, watch out! I could actually do something different when I get home, and not just hit the sofa to relax. There is room for spontaneity. Until bedtime, when the routine kicks in again. All those things I must do before going to bed. Only those few hours free of scheduling, and then it all goes to hell again.

I guess this is why we go on vacations. So we can get away from our routines and responsibilities, even if just for a few days. No schedules. No task lists. No rules. But shouldn’t I wash the sand off my feet before I enter my Bali bungalow?

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2 responses »

  1. Like the author, I am very organized. While I am capable of spontaneity, I much prefer structure. I have found that, after the age of 5, most surprises are not pleasant. So I’ll keep that OCD engine fired up–planning to have fun is OK, too.

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