This past month has been a little weird.
Over the past week Amber and I have finally started to settle into our new (rented) house in Moscow after a whirlwind three weeks of moving, cleaning, moving, cleaning, being stressed, moving, and cleaning some more.
But, at last, I’ve been able to slowly creep back into my routine this past week.
My Dad teases my Mom from time to time about how she gets into a rut. Wakes up at the same exact time. Listens to the same exact radio station in the morning. Starts drinking coffee at the same time every morning. Showers and does her hair at the same time every morning. Eats lunch at the same time every day. Makes dinner at the same-
You get the picture.
And, unabashedly, I am my mother’s son.
I am a person of ritual, and that’s how I operate best. Sometimes I wish I was a bit more spontaneous than I am (although I’m becoming a bit more spontaneous as I get older, and Amber has slowly made me a bit more adventurous as well), but all in all, I value my rut, and my ritual.
Before Amber moved in with me at the end of last year, I was heavily engrained in my rut. I’d wake up, eat a bowl of oatmeal and a few eggs if I was going to lift that afternoon, or just eggs and veggies if I wasn’t lifting that day. Everything measured out and exactly the same each morning, other than occasionally “spicing things up” by switching up the seasoning on my eggs.
For lunch, I’d head back to the apartment, either with Pita Pit in hand or a sandwich or salad in the fridge that I’d made the night before. After eating I’d sit down, read a little with Rudy on my lap, and usually doze off for ten minutes or so before returning to work.
After work I’d run home and change into my gym clothes, go to the gym for about an hour and a half, and head home. At dinner, it was almost always chicken, veggies and rice or sweet potatoes if I’d lifted that evening, or chicken, veggies and cottage cheese if I hadn’t.
Rarely did I go out and do anything with friends during the week or anything that would disrupt my routine. Not only would it disrupt my routine, but if I went out after I’d worked out and gone to the gym I would be getting home far too late, and not hitting my self-imposed bedtime.
I was a creature of extreme habit, and admittedly, it got a little restrictive at times, and sometimes drove me into seclusion.
As I said before, since Amber and I have started dating I’ve grown more flexible and I bend these rules of my rut more often. Although, I’ve indoctrinated Amber into my way of life as well as she’s adopted many of these ritual-based habits herself.
Over the last six months or so my ritual has changed, but Amber and I have developed our own new rituals. An example of how things have changed, is now we’ve begun exercising early in the morning before work instead of in the afternoon. Meals have altered a bit, and so on. But all in all, as I said, we’ve developed our own rituals.
However, over this past month during our moving process, that ritual got completely and utterly wrecked, and we’re just now settling back into the rituals that kept both of us feeling a little more balanced and sane.
There are changes to our ritual now, given that we live in Moscow and no longer live under a mile from WSU, my place of work. However, we now live just a little over a mile from Amber’s new place of work at University of Idaho, so I guess the tables have turned in that respect.
One change to my personal ritual, that will and already has undoubtedly affected Amber, is my continued and heightened commitment to my writing. Creating a daily writing habit has been a goal of mine for a long time, and I recently wrote extensively about that a while back in The Moonlighting Miner, probably my favorite personal blog post I’ve ever written *pats self on back*.
I think the reason I feel so good about that particular post was because it is something I am so dearly passionate about, and I felt so honest. As a friend of mine put it (not in these exact words, but a similar sentiment), my writer’s voice sounded more developed and honest than it ever has in my writings before.
With that all being said, I’ve begun the process of parking my ass in the chair this week, and I’ve written more in the past two days alone than I have in the two months prior to this, including a short story.
I feel quite guilty about the time I’m dedicating to this thing that could be time spent with Amber, and I appreciate her support far more than I can express. But I feel like I need to keep chasing this particular path, and she understands that. A path that I believe may be my true calling in the long run, and where I could possibly make a great impact in the lives of others, and realize my full potential.
I’m glad our routine is taking shape again, as I believe it makes for a happier, healthier, and more successful life. Of course, some spontaneity needs to be mixed in here and there to balance us out. Such as hiking, or trying a new restaurant, or hanging out with friends and family, as it’s just as important to experience new and exciting things, spend time with others, and expose yourself to what the world has to offer, as it is to have a routine.
With that, I’ll leave off with this quote that I found quite true and insightful in my stumblings as I wrote this post:
“Out of routine comes inspiration. That’s the idea, anyway. To grasp what’s exceptional, you first have to know what’s routine.” ~ Michael Kimmelman
Have a great weekend everyone!