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Smashing My Routine

I’ve done everything I’m supposed to do since divorcing from my career last year. I took some time. I went back to therapy. I started getting up at the same time every single day (something I’d not managed for more than a week in over a decade). 

I’ve got my evening and morning routines down to the letter!

In the mornings, I get up before taking a cold shower, making the bed, and meditating. I then sit down to write with a cup of coffee. After that, I get to work for a few hours. 

Once I’ve finished working, I usually cycle along the coast before looping around to pick up my eldest from preschool. I throw him on the back and bring him home before sitting down for lunch. 

Afternoons are spent playing with him – teaching him how to ride his bike or swim – while the youngest naps. Late afternoon is spent doing admin, running errands, or seeing my personal trainer. 

Dinner is at the same time every evening when my wife gets home from work. We all sit down as a family and talk about our day and what we’re grateful for. 

After the kids are in bed, I write my to-do list for the morrow before journalling. I will then sit on the sofa with a cup of tea, where my wife and I will proceed to discuss our day/what’s on our minds. Finally, I will read or watch a little tv before crashing. 

Those are my weekdays. 

Weekends are a little different. I don’t write on the weekends. I treat Sunday as a family/digital sabbath day. I actually turn my phone off and give it to my wife (because willpower is vastly overrated). 

Saturday morning, I go to yoga with my wife. Saturday afternoon we do something fun with the kids/friends. Sunday morning, we take our eldest to play mini rugby. We usually head to the beach for a picnic lunch afterward. The afternoon/evening is spent chilling. 

That’s my life at the moment. 

And it’s, well, fucking wonderful! But, I’ll be honest (because I’m biologically wired to be slightly dissatisfied with life), it’s beginning to feel a little groundhogish. And something very strange has been happening. 

Very little is coming out when I sit down to write. I can force myself to come up with something (reading helps). But the muse isn’t really playing ball. Even this post feels flat to me. 

Maybe this is what happens when your life is all about routine?

Your biological wiring adjusts. You start to crave something different. A change. An adventure. So you make a change. You go on an adventure. But then you adjust again. 

It’s exciting, to begin with, but then you start to feel there isn’t enough stability in your life. You start to crave routine again. So you settle down for a while. But, before you know it, you crave adventure again. 

And so, it seems, I’m at the point in the never-ending cycle of needing a change. Happily, the Gods have sensed my mood. My family and I are going on holiday to Thailand for 10 days. When I return (because I’m a horrible person who likes to leave you hanging), I have some very exciting news to share. 

I will see you all in 2!

In the meantime, I’d like to know what your routine looks like? How do you keep it interesting? 

Also, I wrote this small ebook called Unlocking Personality. It can help you understand who you are and what you should do about it. It’s completely free and completely awesome! 

(To all who downloaded it, I would like to thank you. Please let me know in the comments below if you have any thoughts about it.) 

30 thoughts on “Smashing My Routine

  1. Thailand, what an adventure!
    Routine for me is work, 3 day weekend with errands & cleaning, sleep, repeat. My life right now leaves little to be desired. My writing feels bland, and my imagination is suffering a bit. A hopeful promotion & future travel plans sparks some excitement that circumstances will change for the better.

    1. 3 day weekend is nice. I have more like a 2 and a half day weekend. I think part of the reason my writing isn’t firing is because I’ve been too set in my ways recently. Hopefully this holiday will help spark the muse into action. Good luck with your promotion/upcoming travels! 🙂🙏

  2. Thailand, you’ll have a great time. Relax and bring back pics.
    Not is going to work anymore is a big change. You’ll in eventually fall into a new routine. Letting go of the old can be difficult.

    1. As a pilot my routine was often all over the place. It’s not having a job that’s given my life more stability in terms of routine oddly enough. Thanks Kevin. Will do! 🙏

  3. Have fun in Thailand!
    As for routines, I’m not good at keeping those, I’m a mess and it’s okay. My boss would call it controlled chaos, I get bored easily and fall into a pit of sadness trying to keep my routine. No matter how hard I try to be normal it doesn’t work very well.

    1. Some of us need routine. Others need to set free with the wind. There is no one size fits all. Thank you Milena. I hope you are well 🙏

  4. Have a wonderful trip! 💞💞💞

    I’m opposite of you…I’m a creature of routine and thrive on it. When my routines are thrown off for too long, all the ‘extras’ get thrown out the window…and that includes writing.

    1. I love routine. But I think it’s a double edged sword. When I travel I love to see where the wind takes me. I find when I let my routine go for a week or two and come back to it – I often gain clarity on what needs to be changed/tweaked. Thanks for sharing Dawn 🙏

  5. I have two routines because I split my time between the family house in the city and the suburb house with my mom… And I’m trying to restart a business that was taken from me without warning by Etsy, so honestly, I haven’t refined a proper new routine yet. On top of that, there has been another death in the family and so everything’s upside down.

    But this post encouraged me to begin thinking about redefining a new routine I can gently ease myself into because at one point life has to return to normal, right? 😀

    1. Sorry to hear about the death in your family. a old friend of mine just passed. That threw me for a loop too. Routine is important. But so is the ability to embrace meaningful change. I think it’s useful to have a routine – but continuously look to refine and update it. And ALWAYS give your something something new to look forward to. Thank you for taking the time to read/comment. I hope you find the balance that works for you. 🙏

  6. I definitely relate with the satisfaction-in-routine-to-craving-change cycle. I feel unmoored when I’m not able to establish a comprehensive and calming routine, but then if I do manage one for a while, I get thinking, “Well, that’s that accomplished. What’s next?” Cue the adventure that messes up my routine again, and it’s good for a while, before I circle around to thinking, “When can things just be normal again?” Ad infinitum.

    Is it a personality thing? A biological wiring thing? Perhaps as you suggest it is a never-ending cycle of changing modes of life, as we go from “unchanging” routine, to mild chaos, back to routine, etc. Ironically, routine is sometimes the change we’re looking for. It also proves the truism: “Change is the only constant.”

    Anyway, I hope your vacation gives you the adventure you need before settling back into routine again!

    1. Definitely a biological wiring thing although I believe our personalities give people different thresholds for tolerating change/uncertainty. Some people need routine. Others are much happier to see where the wind takes them. I’ve also felt I’m more of the latter. Although the older I get the more I appreciate the stability routine gives me. Thank you for sharing your thoughts Gail. I had a wonderful holiday 🙏

  7. Thailand? That’ll give a boring old routine a kickstart where it’s needed most! I could sure use one of those—but I’ll just have to settle for something a little less ambitious. Maybe a day trip to a neighboring town? Across the continent, or across the country—whatever works!

    1. We don’t need to travel far to find something novel. Anything that keeps things interesting! Thanks Julia 🙏

  8. Hello AP2! I too am at a point where life feels like Groundhog’s Day. I was telling my daughter earlier how it seems like I do the same things every day. This is the life I longed for and I do love it; however, I do miss the hustle and bustle of being on the go. In the upcoming months, my goal is to find things to keep me involved in community activities. I need to be around other people outside of my family. Didn’t mean to rant. (Smile) Enjoy Thailand!

    1. Hi Shaun. I completely understand. We need a careful mixture of variety and familiar. Keeping one foot firmly planted in the known with the other bolding stepping into unknown. I hope all is well with you! 🙏

  9. Have a great trip! The balance between routine/adventure and structured/unstructured time is very important for me too.

  10. Have a wonderful trip! I prefer not to have a real routine. I do much of the same thing everyday, but having a routine was stressful for me. I am working on living a stress free life. I know the things that I need to do each day and I do them, but I don’t have any particular order and if I don’t get it done, I just put it on the agenda for the next day.

    1. A routine is useful for forming habits and chasing down goals but they can also limit us. Life is unpredictable so we must be flexible. If we cling to our routine too tightly it can be very stressful. We end up forcing our days – I don’t believe our days should feel forced. I like thinking in terms of having a practise more so than having a set routine (which can feel too rigid). That way I can remain open. If I don’t get my writing practise done this morning – no matter, I’ll try to get it in later or hit the reset button and go again tomorrow. Thank you for sharing your thoughts Angela 🙏

  11. Routine gives me security David, and also when I am on holidays I tend to establish a routine that is breakfast, do shopping for lunch on the beach, go to a beach (possibly a different one every day), spend the day there, go home, practice some physical exercise, take a shower, and choose a restaurant for dinner. Last but not least, try to avoid mosquitos that like me very much. Adventure for us is taking a boat trip to explore the sea around the place we are !

    1. Routine is important – especially if we have certain long term goals we want to achieve – however it can also be limiting. Sometimes we need to be flexible. We never know how a day will unfold. We shouldn’t cling to it too tightly. I like the idea of having practices. So long as I get my meditation practise or writing practise done it doesn’t matter when it happens. I like the sound of your holiday routine. Nice to mix it up with different beaches/restaurants- for me travelling is all about exploring the Unkown – so I try not to form too much of a routine or itinerary. I like to get lost. Thanks Cristiana 🙏

    1. Thank you Tamara. Just back and catching up with messages now. It was a great trip! Hope you have been well 🙏

  12. Hi. I love this. I love the life of a writer. It’s so true the part about routine and seeking adventure. Good Lord!

    I spent almost 5 months in Durban after looking for change too from the routine in Gauteng. It was quite the adventure translated into song writing.

    But it sounds lovely indeed the routine you write about.

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