Tuesday, September 13, 2011
What Routine Means to Us
Many people disagree that having a stable routine is a good idea. For some reason we tend to think today that living an adventurous life is the only way to achieve true happiness. To some extent, yes, living unexpected experiences every day keeps people inspired and alive, but I personally think that stability found in knowing what your days will be like is also very nice.
For instance, students who move to a different town or country to study only find themselves at peace when they finally get their new rooms decorated and their class schedules / extracurricular activities settled. Many of these students find, for instance, the whole process of moving to a new place very stressful, and I assure you it is not only because packing and unpacking is boring. It is good to have a stable routine, so we could start feeling at home even when we're far away from it.
Why is that, I ask you, when we are sad we tend to think that we were truly happy when we were kids? We start reminiscing about everything we used to do, what TV shows and games we liked the most, what we felt like when we visited other relatives, and what going to school meant to us.
I suppose that childhood represents a vague idea of stability, of a time with no worries. Although, of course, melancholy makes us forget the annoying parts of everything our gloomy selves are trying to embellish in our memories, the past almost always represents a time that worked well compared to the present and the future, which are still blurry to us.
One of the reasons that inspired this article was my noticing this afternoon that I am living like a full-time author. I spend the day, and sometimes all night, writing. Since I still don't have a table, I place my notebook on a box and start typing. My back, after a while, complains. But my soul is happy. As I experienced graduation week, I felt more and more concerned that my routine as a student would be crushed by my unknown future. Although I am still concerned and eager to see my goals accomplished -- which could be as soon as possible, thank you very much -- I think I am finally starting to feel at home here in Mad-Town.
Firstly, it is very nice to recognize a few roads and know which way to go, for example, if I want to buy groceries. It is also very welcoming to see these yellowing leaves, the noise of construction workers early in the morning, that invisible train that screams from far away; and, above all, it is absolutely comforting to see clouds, big grayish clouds in the sky. Secondly, is there anything better than to be surrounded by these college kids who can be so drunk on Friday nights? For years I frowned when I heard their loud laughter at 3:00 AM -- yes, because I've always been a cranky introverted girl -- but now I truly appreciate their presence, for they are the essence of this town. Besides, what's wrong about expressing intensity at dawn? That's part of their weekend routine, and shame on you, Rebecca, if you yell at them in your head.
On top of all that, I like our new apartment, and have developed my own daily writing schedule. If I can sit down to write without worrying so much about the future, then it is very likely I will feel comfortable and happy with everything. Feeling relaxed where I am is what appeals to me in life. I find very hard to achieve this, but I've noticed that relaxation always comes when my writing habit is finally settled and I don't feel like I am being dragged around to do things I don't want to do.
Routine, then, means a lot to me. Perhaps I am very wrong to refuse living the many adventures my neighbors experience every day, but in all honesty I only feel truly free when I root myself somewhere safe and silently write down what occurs in my mind.