Just Routine: The Spastic Polka and Other Metaphors

Whenever I try to change myself, this is how it goes:

One step forward, two-hundred-and-twenty-three steps back. Or, as Lorelai Gilmore would say*: I start doing the spastic polka.

Of course, part of the problem is that I put myself in advanced courses when I don’t even know the fox trot. I tell myself, I learned the Viennese waltz for a show I was in back in 2003, so clearly I am thisclose to becoming the world’s greatest dancer. I don’t want to spend hours perfecting my shuffle-ball-change**. That’s boring. And it doesn’t feel productive. Give me a spotlight and some sequins and I’ll surely be Ginger Rogers.

(Insert maniacal laughter here.)

Anyway, I’m actually talking about this routine thing. Growing up.

Whatever. Continue reading “Just Routine: The Spastic Polka and Other Metaphors”

Just Routine: Foundations

When I was little, I never stopped moving.

I always had some grand plan, some new game to play. I was on the baseball team, the swim team, the volleyball team, basketball, cheerleading, dance, gymnastics (until I was deemed too tall)–even one season on track and field (fourth place in the long jump! out of maybe five people! woo!) I tried to start my own Babysitter’s Club and entered every talent show. I wrote stories and wandered in the woods behind my house, my head sparking nonstop with ideas. My feet were tough from going barefoot, and my parents couldn’t persuade me not to swim in the icy cold lake even when my lips turned blue.

Now there are days when, left to my own devices, it doesn’t even occur to me to go outside. Continue reading “Just Routine: Foundations”

Just Routine: What Does It Mean?

A while ago, when I was working on Honey Bear’s Guide to Happiness (which I intend to resume at some point… some day…), I checked out a tall stack of books from the library. They all revolved around the same subject: Happiness.

Did you know that there is such a thing as a happiness scholar? There are people who travel the world researching what makes people happy. Sounds like an amazing job to me. Though I have to wonder–what are the happiness statistics on people who research the subject?

Anyway, there were only a couple that I found interesting enough to read cover-to-cover. One was called The Happiness Equation by Neil Pasricha.

Part of Pasricha’s schtick in this book is to create tables. Little four-square things that reduce some complicated ideas down to their roots. One of these had to do with allocating energy and thought to different parts of your life. The idea was that people make hundreds of decisions every day and that decision-making is exhausting and stressful–thus, he wanted his readers to figure out some areas of their lives where they waste energy making decisions and “automate” them. Continue reading “Just Routine: What Does It Mean?”

Just Routine: So It Begins

I have a hard time establishing routines. I’m a free spirit, I guess. I like variety: I’ve had a lot of jobs where the words “something different every day” came up in the interview.

I’ve had a lot of jobs, period. Once, during a very brief stint as a catering kitchen assistant, I was carpooling to work with a coworker and discussing our work histories. She’d had two jobs in her life: the restaurant where she’d worked every summer from the beginning of high school all the way through college, and this catering gig.

I tried to remember all of mine. I was twenty-three at the time, and I came up with: Continue reading “Just Routine: So It Begins”