When Brenda and I were but wee ones, we watched movies over and over and over. And then over again. For example, there is a reason we can both probably repeat every line of the original Willy Wonka and the Wizard of Oz and Hackers and The Little Mermaid. We’ve seen the flicks 64,000 times. This weekend, as I fell into a formerly-normal routine of studying at Starbucks, I started to examine my creature-of-habitness.
Studying at Starbucks may not seem all that significant until I tell you I went to the Starbucks in Mesa where I lived last year, a good 17 minutes away from my current place. And I sat in my favorite chair and ordered a favorite drink. And then I went next door and did my grocery shopping, per usual. On the way to and from, I listened to the same CD that’s been in my 6-disc changer for the last two years. Wow.
This morning as I made my breakfast PB&J, like I always seem to do during the first semester of school, I paused. Why do I continually do the same things over and over? Why do I order the same items from the same restaurants? Drink the same drinks at Starbucks? Take the same roads? Wear the same clothes? Sit in the same seats? Although comfortable, what do my routines keep me from seeing or experiencing?
Now I suppose one could argue (and I have argued this to myself) that we keep routines to maintain a level of sanity in our chaotic, busy worlds. But for me, that argument really only holds for the last few years. Clearly I’ve been a creature of habit my entire life! What are the ramifications, really?
I read a book a couple years ago about how we can keep our brains healthy as we age e.g., crossword puzzles and other word games. A section of the book talked about doing things “differently.” Brushing teeth with a non-dominant hand. Going an alternate route to work. Deliberately trying something new or backwards or in a different order.
While I will likely cling to some certain standards–I’m not giving up vanilla lattes, for instance–I am trying to find some new and different things to try.
What are some of your creature comforts that need shaking up?!