Tag Archives: routine

Day after day after day…

It’s 7:41 p.m. PST.
An entire day gone by in a whirlwind of activity.
Meetings, phone calls, e-mails, conversations around the office, IMs.
Non-stop exchange of information.
Reactions. Elation. Emotions.

The need for a pause button deepens.
No reprieve from the craziness.
As I splash some water on my face
I close my eyes and let my mind slip away.

The hummingbird reappears.
And the chuckle of my friends’ kids.

I scrub the accumulating dead skin.
Brushing off the tiredness.
The demands. The deadlines. The pressure.
Disappearing like the micro soy granules
Into the sinuses of the sink.

I look at myself.
A streak of red

Brightening the tired kohl eyes.
A quiver of a smile.

Today is over.
Tomorrow is another day.

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A journey of self-discovery

I sat in silence.

The sky engulfed me. So did the greenery.

It was a meditative state … hearing nothing but the chirping of the birds.

The sound of the breeze in the rustling leaves.

The smell of grass.

Everything kissed by the sun.

I was at peace.

As I cocked my head to the left, I saw the freeway … glistening metal and glass edifices.

A mass of civilization. People running from Point A to Point B. Mindlessly.

Trying to make ends meet. Trying to figure out their purpose in life through their work. Trying to survive in a consumerist battlefield.

Perched up on the green folds of the mountain, I tried to blur it out.

All needs, wants, ambition, goals — vanished.

Replaced by calm.

It was so real, that it felt surreal.

And then came a flood of questions.

Why didn’t I make more time for such escapes from a life that continued to stress me?

Why have I built a life that continually demands me to be a robot?

Why can I not just leave it all behind?

Why can’t I enjoy more time with Nature?

Why can’t I just spend days wandering, reflecting, marveling?

Why do I need a routine, a structure to make sense of my existence?

Why can’t I just be?

Escape.

Create my own reality.

I didn’t come back with any answers, but the questions keep nagging at me.

When I know what I really want to do, when I know what brings me contentment, when I know what makes me fulfilled…

What’s holding me back?

Is it a false sense of security?

Is it just because?

I don’t want to go down the “I don’t know” street…it never leads me to any answers, just buys me more time to muster up the courage and ultimately confront my fears.

I want to close some doors and not look back.

I want to open some doors and explore with wild abandon.

One day soon we’ll have to sit and talk it through.

I, me, and myself on a journey of self-discovery.

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Also posted on Writers Rising.

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Adding the element of surprise

A good way of managing my professional time, I’ve been told, is to prioritize. I have a daily to-do list, a white board which I update (anally) with a list of current and future projects, and a good idea of the importance attached to each project (all requests from the president’s office come first). Having deadlines also helps. Despite all the planning, the one section of my white board that always overflows is entitled “Impromptu” — these are projects that just show up without a warning and, in most cases, need immediate attention.

Aggravating? It can be. But, I like to think it’s exciting. Even though these unannounced attention-mongers hog away at my time, I appreciate the element of surprise they add to my otherwise routine day. It makes every day chock-full of surprises. I am presented with a different challenge on a daily basis. Keeps me on my toes. Keeps me sharp. And I am able to still meet my (planned) deadlines. Well, 99 percent of them.

But what about personal life? On a daily basis, we simply follow the motions — wake up, go to work, come back, sleep. In between we squeeze some time for interpersonal interactions, watching TV, and eating. It’s just a reaction … it’s only routine. And the same attitude extends to a week, a month, a year, our life. Before we know it, it’s all a big glob of repetitive, drab ambulation. We buy into the idea of monotony so much, that it’s hard for us to even think of  changing that schedule.

What’s stopping you from spicing it up? Making it interesting…

Injecting some life into your evenings? Experimenting…

It’ll only give you something to look forward to, something to enjoy and cherish. A chance to create special memories out of simple everyday things.

Mixing it up a little even once a week (and don’t make a schedule of when), will make your home life not seem so mundane, so routine anymore. Here are some ideas to add an element of surprise in your evening routine:

  • Ditch a routine weekday dinner watching a pre-recorded television program for a night out.
  • Bring flowers home … just because.
  • Switch roles (the cook in the house does the cleaning, and the cleaner does the cooking — or any such variation).
  • Order in.
  • Spend an hour  with your significant other and kids (if you have any) just talking/playing as a couple/family.
  • Read a book instead of watching TV.
  • Sit in the jacuzzi (we have one in our house that we have used only twice in four years!).
  • Play a board game (or the Wii, if you’re so inclined).
  • Cook together.
  • Don’t bring work home.

Surprise yourself. Get creative. You’re more than a machine. You get only one shot at life — live it up.

I’ve given you 10 weeks’ worth of simple, easy-to-implement ideas. Got any of your own you’d like to share?

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