Let me say something unpopular. I think routine is an incredibly brave way to live.
I don’t mean stay in a job you hate forever, come home exhausted and sit silently across from a partner you despise every night. I mean nobly work toward a job you love, do things that add value to your life and put effort into the people you cherish. Routine looks different to everyone, but that doesn’t make it any less beautiful.
My husband and I made the decision to set down roots for our little family and buy a home a few years ago. Have we felt stifled by our mortgage or trapped by our inability to move on a whim? It’s a simple no. When I’ve had a long day, my little home fills me with peace and inspires me to dream a little bigger and sometimes a little smaller.
When my husband and I are fortunate enough to take trips, we love our time away but I don’t feel more alive. I feel just as brimmed with life when I’m snuggled on my couch on a Thursday night, or when I’m having an argument with the man I choose to love everyday, as I do when we’re adventuring through new places.
These things are not majestic and they do not push me into a manic state of joy but they deserve attention. These moments deserve to be felt, they deserve to be lived and they deserve to be honored.
One of my biggest fears — one that I think many of us can relate to — is that I’m not enough. That how I choose to live my life is not enough. That if I watch that second episode of Scandal instead of picking up a book, it somehow means I am diminished. That if I go to bed at 9:30 on a Friday night, I am somehow not living.
My favorite quote is very uncooly from Bono and it says “where you live shouldn’t determine whether you live.” How wonderful it is to think that there is beauty in every routine, and that what and who you choose to devote your life to matters.
My last thought on the matter is that, in my experience, when you’re in the throws of routine, it’s hard to ignore what you’re unhappy with. There’s nothing fluffy or new to take your mind off of what’s wrong. I find that when I slow down and examine what’s hidden behind my feelings of restlessness, it’s usually not the desire for something new, but the claws of something old holding onto me and trying to burrow its way out. What’s your routine and what does it say about you?
This post is dedicated to my challenger, my love and my favorite routine, JD.