I woke up this morning and suddenly realized I’ve become a zombie, doing the same things day after day – mostly on auto-pilot – barely noticing the tiny little miracles going on all around me.
Are you caught up in the same old routine day after day, spinning your wheels and going nowhere? Do you feel like you are capable of having more, doing more, and being more?
Our lives are full of repetitious activities from eating to sleeping to brushing our teeth. We travel to the store on the same roads, we encounter the same people, we do the same chores, we eat, sleep and then do it all over again the next day.
Today I felt the need to shake things up a bit to see if I can’t get my wheels out of this pesky rut. I began my rut-busting just now by refusing to make my bed. Horror of horrors, I can see my mother pursing her lips a I write this.
Look at the areas of your life you consider ruts – what activity did you do repetitively that got you into the rut? Why was it a good thing at first and not good now?
Ten years ago, I wrote a list of what my “Ideal Day” would look like. I pulled it out and looked at it, stunned to realize I’m living that dream, but it’s grown faded and gray.
What was good ten years ago, may not be the best I can do today.
Do you really want to get out of the rut?
Am I sure I want out of this rut, or just an brief interlude from the mundane? We must sometimes examine the reasons for our ruts. It may be there to protect us from some pain we perceive that the effort to change would cause. In my case, I’m just too lazy and lack the creativity to ease out of my comfort zone.
Most of us don’t change (behaviors, attitudes, relationships) until the pain gets great enough. This doesn’t need to be physical pain – psychological and emotional pain can cause us to change as well. The desire to get out of a rut – in our relationships, our jobs, our free time – will only motivate us when the alternatives become unattractive enough.
So my first task in rut busting is to honestly ask myself if the pain I feel is sufficient to move me in some other direction. If the answer is “no” then the next task is to begin to add reasons to change. Start a list – write down as many reasons as you can to change and a second list of reasons to let things remain “as is.” (Source: Hal Warfield, “Rut Busting: How You Got Into a Rut and How to Get Out”
Unfortunately, I hate change – despise it with a passion. But, life is always in the process of change. There is nothing in life that is stagnant. We are either in the process of growth or in the process of decay.
Look what happens to a fruit after it reaches it’s ripest stage… it rots.
Change is the only thing that is constant in life.
I heard someone say that five years from today, we will be the exact same person we are right now, except for the books we read, the people we meet and the places we go. Perhaps I will take a different route to perform my tasks. Perhaps I’ll have breakfast for lunch, and lunch for dinner. Maybe I’ll go to a movie by myself.
Perhaps I’ll wear a bright red lipstick instead of my trademark “hot pink.” Or even better, maybe I’ll wear none at all. Maybe I’ll wear a dress today since I haven’t seen my own legs since this horrific winter set in.
They say that a person without hope is lost. Well, I gotta tell you that hope by itself ain’t gonna getcha there. Wherever there is. “Let’s hope for the best and see what happens” – nice sentiment and all, but not a very helpful or practical strategy for a better life.
My let’s-keep-our-fingers-crossed mentality doesn’t usually (okay, ever) result in positive long-term change. As a child I remember nagging my mother about what I could do on a rainy day. She said to sit on my fist and lean back on my thumb.
Me thinks that’s exactly what I’ve been doing for way too long.