Less Routine, More Life

A typical American morning:

  • 6:00 AM – Alarm clock goes off.
  • 6:07 AM – Snooze alarm goes off. Stretch, yawn a few times, and sleep-walk to feed the cats.
  • 6:11 AM – Hop in the shower. Lather and rinse.
  • 6:20 AM – Open left eye. Insert contact.  Open right and repeat.
  • 6:22 AM – Pick out the attire for the day.
  • 6:26 AM – Fix instant oatmeal and grab a banana. Scarf it down.
  • 6:35 AM – Brush those pearly whites.
  • 6:38 AM – Fix hair.
  • 6:41 AM – Shave that 5 o’clock shadow.
  • 6:48 AM – Grab jacket and bolt out the door for work.

It’s become  so routine, I could sleepwalk through it. I read a quote today by philosopher Amos Bronson Alcott: “The less of routine, the more of life.” Until recently, I had never heard of this man. Nonetheless, his quote offers a powerful reminder of the dangers of allowing routine to set in. Routine is similar to a slow-killing cancer. Maybe you don’t even notice its symptoms for a long time. Yet, unbeknownst to you, it slowly tears away at your soul.

As time passes, you suddenly feel numb to the world, and you’re left wondering where your passions have drifted away to or whether you ever had any in the first place. Maybe you’re so used to doing as you’re told that you’ve barely tapped into that creativity in years. While you can’t pop a pill to cure this disease, the remedy begins with a shift from accepting societal norms to defying the status quo.

Hike a new trail, eat at a local hole-in-the-wall, write a blog, try a new hobby, explore country roads outside the city, visit a historical location on Saturday, write an old friend, or build a new friendship outside of your normal group. Ideas and creativity will likely be unleashed. As new adventures take over your life, routine becomes even more mundane, fruitless, and intolerable. You discover what I’ve unearthed: life begins where routine is broken.

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  • http://mdmentoring.wordpress.com bichiv

    Love it! I often feel like life is stuck on repeat. Wake up. Do the same thing I did yesterday. Go to bed. Wake up… you get the picture. I think we can all use a healthy dose of life and a break routine. ~Ivan

    • http://hikingbikingva.wordpress.com Chris

      Thanks for checking out the blog Ivan! Yep, we all fall into the mundane routine at times. We all have to be intentional about not getting stuck in it.