How often do you wake up in the morning, jump out of bed and think “Hooray, another day!!” and it’s not the weekend??
Most days? Well that’s fabulous – and you can probably stop reading now, this stuff might bore you.
The rest of you? Rarely? Never?
You wake up, hit the alarm clock – it’s not really the clock’s fault you know, it was manufactured to make that noise every morning. Get out of bed and think “Same old, same old”?
Not a great way to start the day, hey?
But you know you have to get up, you know you have to go to work – some of you hate it, some of you tolerate it – but hey that’s a whole other blog. Anyway it’s Groundhog day. I’m talking the movie with Bill Murray in 1993 – the weatherman doomed to spend the rest of eternity in the same place, seeing the same people, doing the same thing over and over and over again.
Sound familiar? Get up, get ready for work, go to work, spend 8-10 hours a day at work, come home, prepare the dinner (or sit in front of the television whilst it’s being prepared for you), eat dinner, watch television, go to bed. Get up, get ready for work… Ringing any bells?
Sure, we need order and discipline at times in our lives, some call it routine. I call it stuck in a rut. And the longer you stay there, the deeper the rut, the harder it is to climb out of the ravine you are digging. Harder to jump off the wheel. You’ll start to feel trapped, joyless, bored.
Well it’s time to shake it up!!
Not all day, every day, but little by little, one step at a time.
It’s time to have fun, otherwise the stress of your rut will do infinite harm.
Now I’m not saying quite your job, sell your home, kick the kids out, what I’m saying is – Start Small.
Something ridiculously easy to do (but we often do not) is leave the office at lunch. How many of you sit at your desk, eat your lunch and continue to work through? Okay, a few of you may take a few minutes to scroll through social media while you’re scoffing your sandwich, but how many of you actually get up out of your seat and go outside? Take your sandwich, take your phone (if you must) and go for a walk. Get some fresh air. Raining? Find a dry spot and call a friend, catch up with someone you haven’t seen in a while. See how you feel when it’s time to go back to the office. REFRESHED!
Drive to and fro work every day? Take a different route on the way home (not on the way – I don’t want you to stress about being late). You’ve got a GPS, ask for an alternate route. You might discover places you’ve never seen before. (That’s how I found a fabulous little coffee shop tucked away in a corner off the beaten track one day).
When you get home from work, get changed. Get out of your work clothes. Hey you might have some lovely clothes on, but the work day is over. Put on some comfy clothes – or get dolled up – whatever makes you feel good, just get out of 9-5 mode.
Keep the television turned off. Home alone? Put on some of your favourite music, and dance around the house. Family home? Strike up a conversation – just don’t plonk yourself down
automatically in front of the television – that thing draws the life out of you (and it’s probably the news – bad news, anyway).
Set the dinner table with napkins and a candle, make it special, and have dinner with your partner/and or family as often as their sporting/social life will let you. A nice setting breaks up the monotony of eating from a tray on your lap in front of the television (and research will tell you that it is infinitely better for your health). It can even be a reheated frozen meal – but eaten off a plate, sitting at a table, makes it all the more special. And some great conversations and planning can go on around the dinner table.
After dinner rather than scatter to other ends of the house, each person on their phone, tablet, or PC – stay and play. UNO anyone? Monopoly? Something that will make you laugh (and at times scowl) at each other for just a little while. The dishes will wait. They’ll still be there in an hour. When was the last time you played a game?
If there is just the two of you – here’s a suggestion – PLAY together. I was reading recently about a couple who felt their lives had stagnated – they’d forgotten how to have fun. Every night after work they’d come home and same old, same old (how common is that?). They decided enough is enough. They made a commitment to each other to liven things up. So every Thursday they put up a sign in their lounge room – NO ADULTS ALLOWED! KIDS 5 – 7 YEARS ONLY! And for one full hour every Thursday night they played like they were kids. 5-7 years old.
Sounds childish? It is.
Sounds fun? It is.
Hide and Go Seek. Hopscotch. Cops and Robbers. Tip. On cooler nights they painted and drew, they played dress ups.
Sure it was awkward at first (because honestly it can take a while to remember how to behave like a kid – we are so conditioned to grow up and act your age), but after the first couple of sessions they learnt to relax and go with the flow. And have so much fun.
Once in a while, do something bigger – more out of routine. Sundays normally spent having breakfast, doing the lawns, changing the sheets, lazing around all arvo (or worse still doing housework)? How about shaking it up. Take your breakfast to a park, eat outside. Go for a hike. Visit an art gallery or museum. Go somewhere, do something you don’t normally do. It doesn’t have to involve money – there are lots of free activities, check out your local area’s website, there’s bound to be stuff to do. And when you go in to work on Monday, you’ll have something to talk about rather than answer the question “How was your weekend?” with a “Same old, same old”.
We get into a rut, we become complacent, we don’t question things, we don’t think of living a different way.
Don’t wait for a near death experience to shake you out of your rut. Take responsibility to make change, and take action. Do something, anything, to create momentum and get out of your rut. Get off that hamster wheel. Start with one small thing at a time.
There’s a multitude of areas in your life that can be classed as ‘rut’ worthy, but to keep it brief and at least get you started on thinking, I’ve only glossed over some things here with you today. If you feel you are in a deep ravine, and you need some help getting out, contact me. Let me help you discover what it is you want to be, do and have. Let me help you start kicking up your heels and having a fabulous life.