This month, I changed one of my morning habits. I did it to take advantage of the latte factor, but it has another benefit. Little changes are freeing for me. I resist routine.
It can make life difficult because life is full of routine.
I used to find after every break from it, I had to reexamine my life. If I don’t want to return to my normal, I would think, shouldn’t I change it? If I’m resistant to my days, am I resistant to my life?
I recently finished a book from my last post, Four Seasons in Rome by Anthony Doerr, and in it he said a thing that has settled me.
Without habit, the beauty of the world would overwhelm us.
How I love this. It eases my resistance to routine because it brings meaning to it (routine is good for us; it keeps us sane), but it also settles my post-weekend, post-vacation feeling. Of course I love a break from routine for a moment. It allows me to see the world for the beautiful it really is. If I spent my whole life on vacation, I would settle into the routines of that, as well, and the beauty would disappear again.
Routine is what we do. It’s in our nature to make life easier by removing the guesswork from things like when to eat, in what order we wash our face and brush our teeth, or which route we take to work. It’s okay, and it’s meaningful.
Without it, we couldn’t even handle the wonder.
Which, you gotta admit, is sort of its own kind of dare.
P.S. I have a high school graduate now. When he was in first grade I was writing in his journal and asked him what he wanted to remember. He said to me, “I have a friend named Ian, and I love football.” The third picture is of John and Ian, still friends twelve years later, and being unleashed on the world.
I can’t even handle it.