Trapped By Routine

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There is something very comforting about being in control of my day, something that only routine can give me. To wake up each day knowing every event that will take place and at what time, is what brings a little peace to my life. Because of routine I know that everything will get taken care of and normally without a second thought.

Every task has an approximate time to begin, give or take thirty minutes; breakfast, exercise, showers, errands and work. Even dinner is placed on the table within the same fifteen minutes each day. To make sure this happens, I begin my day by calculating exactly how long dinner will take to prepare, so that I can plan what time I need to begin, just so I don’t miss that ten minute time frame. Okay maybe I’m a bit obsessive, but this is how I get through life. It reduces stress.

It also causes stress. Over time, a person can get trapped by the very routine that they worked so hard to establish and maintain. It is rare that my unwritten schedule can get interrupted or altered, without immediately causing anxiety. Imagine how frantic I get when dinner is delayed. Going about each day with every hour planned, sometimes down to the minute, can be frustrating.

Since routines can become a burden, sometimes it’s better not to have one. It frees us from self-made deadlines and makes room for more spontaneity. Life is much more exciting when people live life on the edge of their seat, instead of being trapped inside of it.

Oddly enough, as much as I enjoy routine I also love being spontaneous. Well, as long as it works with my schedule. Days that turn into unplanned overnight getaways, half day mountain excursions or simple tours of the city, are when some of the best memories are made. Those are usually the best days of them all.

Unfortunately, my self-imposed daily schedule doesn’t allow for enough of them. Maybe with practice, I can become less routine. Or, maybe not. Simply thinking about it makes me uneasy.

To have a routine or not, that is the question.


 

This post is in response to The Daily Post prompt: Two Right Feet

 

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29 Responses to Trapped By Routine

  1. SandySays1 says:

    Routines are great as long as you can break them without feeling guilty. Or doing something that hurts. The Collie down the street got used to the routine of having his human make noise at the blinds at the sliding glass door as he opened it for my friend to go outside. Two days ago the man made the noise, the collie exited, but the door wasn’t open – Vet City.

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  2. DailyMusings says:

    I am a creature of habit and like routine too- but some days I will purposely change it up just to break out of that rut of routine 🙂

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    • mewhoami says:

      That’s a good idea. It’s important to change it up every now and then. I try. Sometimes I’m successful, and other times thinking about it is as far as I get.

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      • DailyMusings says:

        You just need to do it! Take a different road home from work(oops I think you said you work at home) or if you go shopping go a different way- sometimes I am even so daring as to do laundry on a different day, or skip it for a week altogether! 😀 daring right?? LOL

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  3. I get cranky if my morning routine is broken – by getting up earlier, or having to leave the house earlier. Other than that, I’m up for anything! I never expect the drive to be safe, and my daily job changes by the hour. I do eat the same thing at lunch every day, but it’s easy and cheap and let’s me get away from other people for a bit. I’m rarely in charge of dinner, yay!

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    • mewhoami says:

      That definitely wouldn’t help if you’re not a morning person. I love early mornings, but they still have to fit in my morning routines, unless I’m on vacation. It’s good to be up for whatever the day may bring. Anything can happen while on the road or at work, and in those cases a routine isn’t even possible. I used to to eat the same thing every day too. Actually, I still do come to think of it.

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  4. Holy moly I understand this. Routine gets me through so much. But I love the moments when I can break free of it. Or even live without it. But to be responsible in so many different arenas I feel routine helps.

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  5. After the past year of my life, I’m not even sure what routine is anymore….but I want it, I want it back! I really do! 🙂

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  6. Doobster418 says:

    I start out every morning with a routine and a plan for the day, but usually, within an hour of my awakening, my plan for the day had changed dramatically based upon the pushes and pulls of my job. Oh well, at least my routine lasted for an hour. Sometimes, anyway.

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    • mewhoami says:

      You get points for effort right? And at least you have a job to get pushed and pulled by. 🙂 Fortunately, my job allows for me to make my own schedule and work load too, for the most part. So my routine rarely gets changed because of it.

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      • Doobster418 says:

        I have a lot of flexibility in my job, too, especially since I work from home and much of what I do I can do at a time that is convenient to me. Unfortunately, many of the people I work with reside in the east, so when I get up out here on the west coast, my email box is usually pretty full an includes at least several previously unscheduled calls. I also typically awake to two or three voice mail messages requiring my “immediate” attention. Oh well, such is life.

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  7. Glynis Jolly says:

    I live better by routine too. I was brought up on it. Because Hubby and I are complete opposites, routine is something I fight for (internally). I like the break-up of routine too, but like you, just occasionally to break the monotony.

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    • mewhoami says:

      I understand the need for routine when the other half is the opposite. My husband is anti-routine, whereas I live by it. Strangely enough, it seems to work though. Maybe opposites really do attract?

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  8. April says:

    Ugh, routine. Pre-kids, I was a very strict queen of routine, I did things on certain days, but mostly left my weekends for spontaneity–as long as I planned for it. By the time our second kid came around, I realized that I was making myself crazy trying to keep to a routine. The more I strayed from the routine, the more I would berate myself. I still do this today, but my routine is extremely vague, and I find diversions all over the place. However, apparently a routine is good for someone like me. I’ll let you know how successful I am. 😀

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    • mewhoami says:

      Kids do have a way of changing things and it’s hard keeping up with routines with them running around. I think it may be better sometimes to have a vague routine, rather than a strict one. It definitely eases some of the pressure. Then again, maybe it causes us some too? I suppose a good mix of the two may be best.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Dave says:

    I love the thoughts, but find myself overwhelmed by the idea of being that organized. While I know that I could get much more done, I also know that the slightest deviation from schedule really messes me up.
    Spontaneity I understand, probably too well.
    Enjoyable read. Thanks for sharing.

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    • mewhoami says:

      It can be overwhelming to be on such a strict schedule, but things do get done so I suppose that’s the positive side to it. Spontaneity can be wonderful. It makes and keeps life more interesting.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. AJK says:

    Hi there, has much changed since this post? I know what people are saying, by saying routine is a good thing, but I understand how infuriating it can be to be so on point that you cannot do anything else outside of it. It is more than a routine when routine is life. I also am trapped by routine, that everything works within the same 10 minutes; including what time dinner goes on the table in the evening, much like you said. I want to be able to break free from it too, but the anxiety just takes over by the thought. I hope you are well!

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    • mewhoami says:

      I’m glad to hear that I’m not the only one like this. It’s so much pressure to hold ourselves to such a routine, but it’s also a lot of pressure not to. I feel comfortable and safe with my routine. To answer your question though, yes, things have changed a bit. I’m loosening up on myself and allowing myself to break free from routine a lot more often. Maybe not as often as most people, but a lot more than what I was used to. I must admit too, that I’m enjoying it! I hope that you can find a way to break free too, even if it’s just a little here and there.

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