Monday, November 23, 2009

decisions and routines

one of the first rules parenthood teaches you is that human beings like routines. we humans like patterns and predictability, we like knowing what comes next. we have a tendency to lean into our activities so far that we fall into habits, where we become comfortable and accustomed to the order.
this is not necessarily a negative.
my routines structure my life, and I find that the predictability eases my decision-making, which in turn eases my entire life.
and this is why the past two months have been challenging me: my routines get out of whack during spring and fall, when my rides are so weather dependent. thanks to the flexibility of my work, I can ride when the weather is best and work when it's rainy or bitterly cold or dark, or any combination of the three. but this adds uncertainty to my life, a variability, which leads to a sense of instability. and the need to make decisions.
freedom is liberating, but constancy is soothing.
and a reduced need to make decisions is absolutely divine.

my life has now returned to certainty. which results in fewer decisions to make.
every morning except saturday I now get up, pull my cycling clothes on and head off to class. mondays and fridays I go to the weight room after an hour of class and cycle through my weight room routine. wednesdays and sundays I blissfully get to go straight home. tuesdays and thursdays have a 90-minute class, after which I also trudge home.
and then I'm done for the day.
no wondering about and waiting for the weather.
no getting too busy and not finding time to ride.
no decision making at all.
because sometimes it's comforting to just flow, without too much thought, through our daily schedules. without too many decisions to make.

do you remember the line about starbucks in the movie You've Got Mail? Tom Hanks' character describes the coffee shop in this way: "The whole purpose of places like Starbuck's is for people with no decision making ability whatsoever to make six decisions just to buy one cup of coffee."

I like getting up at the same time every morning and heading off to a routine where my decisions are made for me.
and when I go to starbucks, I order a small cup of decaf.
because I'd just as soon not have to test my decision-making abilities any more than I have to.

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