Monday, April 12, 2010

Rut or Routine?

I am a creature of habit. Having a daily routine falls into the category of "necessity" rather than "luxury." I need structure in order to make productive use of my time. Even when I have a day free of my regular routine, I create one by the time I've finished breakfast.

This drives those around me a little crazy at times. For example, I really like to know what we're having for dinner early in the day. Why? Partly because I might need to go grocery shopping. But, my need to know the dinner menu goes beyond this. Knowing what we're having for dinner gives me something to look forward to. My wife, who is a more spontaneous person, has trouble grasping this and sees it as a warning sign of OCD or worse.

I find that structuring my day into a series of routine tasks aids my self-discipline. The first thing each morning I make out a list of what needs to get done that day. Important appointments go on my calendar. Then, I start working on the list until I finish it. I don't think this is abnormal, but I'm not the best judge of my own behavior.

When it comes to living a spiritual life, I believe that being disciplined about it is good. I don't go so far as to write "Pray from 2-2:30 p.m." on my calendar, but I do have a regular time to pray. Yet, I realize that a routine can become a rut when it chokes out all spontaneity. Sometimes, we need to give up the security of a routine to give free reign to spontaneous creativity. This is something I'm working on. In fact, I've put "Be spontaneous" on my calendar for 2:00 this afternoon.

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