The word routine has often carried a negative connotation. If a relationship becomes routine, you’ve lost ‘the spark’ – it’s no longer sexy or exciting. When a job becomes routine, you’re just passing the time for a steady paycheque. But, it’s been precisely my lack of routine over the last several years that’s seen me gain 30 lbs, incessantly picking up my phone and checking social media, and just feeling out of sorts. Despite the glamour of spontaneity and its our magnetizing pull in our YOLO-esque culture, I’m finding myself craving structure.
Letting myself be bored again.
Remember Summers as a kid? Before you had to use that time to attend driving school or work a part-time job? When you could waste the days away doing nothing? After the high of school’s end wore off, you were just…bored. And, if you whined about it to your Mom, you’d be met with the suggestion of, “you’re bored? Clean up!” Well, obviously that was entirely out of the question. Back then, there weren’t as many options to keep yourself occupied (*distracted).
Now, as an over-worked, over-stimulated, and frankly, exhausted adult, I crave the boredom that once agonized me as a child. To just sit quietly without a phone vibrating every other minute in my pocket. To have to wait to watch a TV show at its scheduled air time. Right now there are a million options readily available to ease the sometimes monotonous nature of life.
I want to be bored again.
Ditching the distractions
In no way is this meant to be a self-righteous or self-indulgent rant. Rather, an admission of the fact that over the last 3 to 5 years, I’ve relinquished control of myself to work, technology, and social media. As a result, I no longer recognize the person staring back at me in the mirror. In fact, not only do I not recognize her, I don’t like the person I see.
I need to remember what it felt like to just be. To sit quietly – create the mental space to reflect and wrestle with ideas. Let people “come to mind”, rather than come up on my Facebook feed. To feel at home in my own body, and, to love myself again. In order to do that, I have to ditch every distraction that’s led me to this place. A few weeks ago, I quit Instagram. Also, I downloaded all my photos off of Facebook, ready to delete my account. I’m ready to completely disconnect and start over.
Hitting ‘refresh’ on life.
Call me crazy, but even that small change of quitting Instagram has breathed life into me. Despite a busier-than-normal schedule, ditching the mammoth social media platform has left me with way more time and energy than I could have imagined. I’m slowly but surely implementing a morning routine. I’m easing back into the gym, without putting too much pressure on myself about it. And, best of all, I’m sleeping better! That alone is, quite literally, a life saver!
Re-introducing structure and routine into my life has forced me to be more mindful about the way I’m spending my time. Creating restrictions, particularly around the use of technology, has re-invigorated me on the inside out. These small victories are only making me want to strive for better – not necessarily more. For quality, over quantity.
I have a lot of work to do.
At the risk of sensationalizing this, I’m excited for what 2019 has in store. I have a lot of inner and outer work yet to do, but I’m up for the challenge. Honestly, this is no longer a goal, but a necessity. Like I said earlier, I want to feel good in my skin again. I want to be proud of the person I’ve become. And, don’t get me wrong, though this is in part related to my appearance, it’s about so much more than that.
I hope that by the end of this year, I’ll find myself a more centred, rested, lighter, and productive person. Someone who takes the time to really connect with people, and live each day with a keen sense of purpose. I don’t want to be so busy “living life” that I forget to actually live my life. Does that make sense? I’m tired of being hunched over a phone. Quite literally, I think I’m developing a bump at the base of my neck. I want to look up, and not experience life, and others’ lives, through a screen. It’s not going to be easy. I know it’s going to be difficult. But, at this point, I have no other choice.
I’ve begun journaling my thoughts and progress every day, to keep myself on track and motivated. I hope to share my journey of personal growth with you. So, let me know in the comments below if that’s something you’re interested in following. Also, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you have a morning or evening routine? How has the helped you reach your goals? Has it impacted your health?
Until next time, here’s to having enough time in the morning to make a cup of coffee…