Creatures of habit

Sometimes I get so frustrated with iTunes and my iPod.  It seems like all I ever hear are the same songs, or at least the same artists, over and over again.  Ugh, iPod, why do you not understand that I would like some variety?!

Oh, right, maybe it’s because you’re an electronic device that doesn’t really “think”.  Or “understand”.  Oh well.  Whatever.

I guess there’s nothing wrong with routine.  I mean, my entire life is based on routine.  I wake up in the morning, take my shower, get dressed, make my coffee and my oatmeal (delicious.  It’s really, really delicious.  Except this afternoon there were no good bananas at the grocery store so tomorrow’s oatmeal will be banana-less and that makes me upset), etc.  I work, workout, do pretty much the same thing over and over again, every day.  And I like it that way.

I like it so much, in fact, that when I don’t get to stick to this routine, things go a little bit haywire.  I mean, it’s never that big a deal, I just feel like it’s the end of the world.  Today, for instance, I feel completely out of whack because I didn’t do the run I had planned, don’t have bananas for my oatmeal tomorrow, spent four hours on a bus earlier, and haven’t taken a shower yet.  It’s like a disaster.

Mostly I’m mad at myself (or disappointed, maybe, is a better word) for not running today after I had been looking forward to it all day.  I went away for the weekend and upon getting back to New York, I just felt drained, and my stomach was (unsurprisingly) in pain for inexplicable reasons.  So I didn’t run.  It has thrown off my whole day.

I wish I were the sort of person who didn’t need a routine, who enjoyed new experiences (really they just make me anxious), and who could embrace change.  But I’m not.  I guess as I get older, I just have to accept that.

Anyone else out there feel as attached to their routine as I am?  To the point where it interferes with your mood when things don’t go the right way?  Or am I just crazy?

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5 comments

  1. I am very, VERY attached to a routine. Of course, since I travel for my job, I don’t always have the option to stick to the same routine every day (same routine?). However, whenever I get to wherever it is I am going, I immediately get into a grove for eating, working out, work, etc. I HATE when something messes that up (like when I have to travel with coworkers–hard to stick to a routine).

    I also have to plan everything. I can’t do anything without a plan. Drives the wifey crazy sometimes…

  2. I used to be REALLY attached to my routine, but luckily (?) my crazy job/hours have forced me to become much more flexible in my ways, which I really am grateful for. But I definitely still get seriously grouchy when things are REALLY out of whack . . . traveling, working extra long hours and getting no sleep, having to skip a run, etc.

  3. Routines are the ways in which we impose sense and reason on a disordered world. Without routines, we must deal with the uncomfortable idea that we really control very little about our daily lives, much less the lives of others.

    They are a necessary cognitive tool, not something of which you should be ashamed.

    That’s how I rationalize it at least. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to wash my hands five or six times.

  4. I think Mike says it all – I couldn’t have said it any better myself. I too get pretty upset with life when my routine gets busted. And it can be something as small as not having bananas. I once canceled a morning run because we had no bananas.

  5. I enjoy routine for one reason–to manage my time. And usually if my routine is off wack–then stress comes into the picture. But I also love a good a spontaneous moment because it feels refreshing to do something different for a bit. Just watch out for that evil stress though!!

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