I’ve been thinking a lot about routine lately. About how it gets a bad wrap. Routines aren’t really cool or sexy. And often people feel old or boring when they stick to a one. I think uprooting and moving across the country gave me a good perspective on this. My routine was out of whack for a while and I feel like I’ve finally settled into one in the last 6 months. And I feel so. much. better. So I’ve been reflecting on why that is when routine is so lame.
There are so many things I want to do in a given day. Walk 10,000 steps, drink at least 100 ounces of water, eat at least 6 servings of fruits and veggies, stand half the day instead of sit, take my vitamins, workout, eat whole foods that nourish my body. And those are just the basics for my health. That doesn’t include the things I have to do everyday like go to work at my full-time job, cook meals, or prep for the next day. Nor does it include the extra things I want to do for my creativity and connection like working on this blog or spending quality-time with my husband or friends. Or, those things I should do but aren’t that fun like watching my spending so we can save our pennies for vacation or new furniture or picking up our apartment every day so it doesn’t turn into a huge mess. Phew, that’s a long list! I’m sure yours looks the same.
I’ve come to realize that for me the only way to get all these things done in a day is to have a routine. That way all or most of these things are done on autopilot. I know exactly when I’m going to take walks during the day to get my 10,000 steps. I know what time I need to refill my water bottle to ensure I’m drinking enough. I know that on certain days I wake up early to blog and on others I go to the gym. I know that I’ll get to spend time with my husband catching up on our days before we eat dinner. I know that before bed I’m going to take my vitamins. I know what time I’m going to go to bed to wake up early enough to blog/workout. All those things and more have become such a routine for me that they’re done almost without even thinking about it.
If I had to think about every single one of these things each day in order to get them done it would never happen. Or it would but that’s all I would be spending my time and energy on. There would be no mental capacity left to do the fun stuff or the next level stuff. Those things I need to accomplish to reach my goals. There would be no room for “fluff” only necessity. Right now, I’m really into getting and staying healthy and working on this blog which take up a lot of time so I’m doing a lot of things. Maybe in another season of life I’ll be able to slow down and do less and my routine won’t be so important. But, right now I revel in it. I feel so happy every day knowing that I accomplished so many small things that move me towards being a better me. And, it feels good to have the time, energy, and space leftover to think ahead and to the next step. To think about vacations, birthdays, holidays, goals, and dreams.
Having recently been without a steady routine, I know that it just plain didn’t work for me. At least at this time in my life. And, I know plenty of other people get energized and feel alive by not having a routing and being able to let their day flow as they’d like it and that’s not wrong. It’s just not for me right now.
I love my routine and everything it enables me to do. I truly believe I’m at my best when I have a routine. It gives me the ability to look forward, to have time for love and personal connection, to create, to think about my goals and dreams and the time and space to achieve them.
Because the sun sticks to the same beautiful routine of rising and setting everyday and nobody complains about it here are a few pictures I snapped during an evening walk on Marina Green (one of the most beautiful places to catch a sunset in the city).