"It is remarkable how easily and insensibly we fall into a particular route, and make a beaten track for ourselves.…How deep the ruts of tradition and conformity."
When I was at the gym doing leg curls night before last, I realized that I am in a rut. Some might call it a routine, I suppose. I could give you all the details of my week’s routine, but I’m sure that you don’t care that most every night I eat nachos and hot chocolate with lots of whip cream for dinner. Or that I watch too much television while sitting on my couch and reading/playing on the Internet. Or that I do the almost same workout routine every night.
My point isn't the details of my typical evening. What has occurred to me is that I live my life as if I have a mindless nonnegotiable routine. I often don't make evening plans because I hate having plans; it's sad, but plans sometimes feel like chores to me. I am, however, almost always glad once I get where I'm going. I rarely think outside of the box and choose a different course for my evening. I’m just doing what I know and I guess what seems easiest. When I first started working I was better about this. I'd meet a friend for drinks in the evening or to grab dinner or sometimes I'd go to a restaurant on my own for dinner or cook for friends. For a while, I’d go to a coffee shop after work and write. But over the course of time, I became perpetually tired, and I guess I became super boring. It reminds me of so many older people who I know who rarely do anything unusual, whether it's traveling, going to a movie, trying a new restaurant, etc. Is that what growing old is? That's scary. I don't ever want to be afraid or lose the desire to explore and instead be completely content in my comfort zone.
In high school I made a point of changing seats every so often in my classes to give me a different perspective, and it's time, so to speak, to change seats. Even small changes like going to the gym in the morning or hosting a dinner party or playing tennis after work (as soon as it’s not so unbearably hot!) are steps in the right direction. And I realize that part of having so many choices is the freedom not to exercise those choices, but I think it's better to explore all that life has to offer and mix things up. After all, "There are none happy in the world but beings who enjoy freely a vast horizon."
p.s. I will be mixing things up this weekend with an inflatable slip and slide. Perhaps I'll even have some good/funny photos!