As the days pass I think many of us get into habits that become so rigid we forget how to get out of that rut. Walk the same path enough times and it becomes second nature. Run your car through the same tracks enough times and pretty soon it's actually difficult to not drive in the path. With work schedules the way they are, most people function on the Monday to Friday 9-5 schedule, and therefore everything else is just sort of fit in around it.
My morning starts at 4:45am. That's the first alarm -- the one that says, you don't need to get up right now, but soon. The second alarm goes off at 5am. This is the one that says, you should probably get up now. If I'm really tired I'll wait for the third one and turn this one off. Finally the third one goes off at 5:05am, and it's the one that says, get out of bed man you gotta be at work soon and you need time to eat and everything else! The ringtone is even a jolting one too (ever seen the opening to CSI: Miami? That's what it is) to make sure I wake up.
By 5:15am I'm changed and out to breakfast (always been one to shower the night before; it's nice being clean when you get into bed). I literally take virtually the same path, as I grab my dishes, a box of cereal, daily vitamin, drink, open the blinds, and then sit down and open my laptop. While I eat, I catch up on blogs, look at some architecture articles, and check email.
Normally by 5:30am I am finished eating and make my lunch for the day and brush my teeth, at which point I sit down in the same chair facing the same way each day and put on my boots. I close the pantry, hit the lights, lock the door on my way out, and I'm off to work. It even goes so far that I always take the same route to work, the same route through the parking lot, and park in the same spot.
Now maybe it was a little ridiculous to explain one hour of my day in such detail just to illustrate a point. But I do all this virtually without even thinking. Just this morning, there was an event going on super early and as a result there were a lot more people at the club at 6am than normal. It threw off my whole morning routine and I even ended up forgetting things that I normally do.
I think, though, that these small intrusions are part of what makes life interesting. It keeps you on your toes. And when our time in this life is limited, it's important to remember how easy it is to fall into the "boring old daily routine." And then avoid it. Keep things interesting. Take a new way to work. Mix it up.
I've mentioned this before but I often forget how each day is such a gift. That each day can be completely and totally special. And quite honestly, each day should be. Last night I asked my brother if he wanted to do something and we just grabbed some Wawa for dinner and headed out to Sandy Hook. I haven't been to the city in around six months and I've been dying to go. I recently read an article that Freedom Tower is now just about complete, since adding the antenna on, and I have to say it is breathtaking.
As the haze settled over the water last night and sun dropped below the horizon, Freedom Tower stood alone in the skyline, virtually twice as tall as anything near it. I remember as a kid when I used to go to Sandy Hook with the family and see the twin towers standing there proudly. According to the article, if the antenna counts in the overall height, it will be the tallest building in America. How appropriate -- Freedom first.
Today, break the cycle of what your everyday life is used to. Try something new. Be a different person today. Treat yourself. Do something crazy. Whatever happens, make memories. Every day is precious, and memories are all we really have to hold on to them.