The thing about life is that it’s mind-numbingly boring. I’m sorry if I burst the bubble you were floating about in or pulled you out of that cave which was dangerously close to collapsing on your head. You could disagree with me, be angry or simply stop reading after this sentence. But the cold hard truth you’re trying to get away from so desperately is going to catch up with you. You can run but you can’t hide. If you’re still with me, thank you for your patience. And I promise you, it gets better here onwards.
Life is routine, right? You wake up after snoozing your alarm six times over, you shower, you get breakfast on good days, grab some coffee/chocolate otherwise, put on your earphones, run to catch that train or drive through the painful, peak hour traffic, go to work, get work done, do the travelling ritual again, get dinner, watch some TV shows, talk about your day, listen to someone else talk about theirs and hit the sack to do the same thing all over again tomorrow. Right? Well, apart from some variation here or there, I believe this is the schedule most of us follow. Replace work with school, TV shows with video games. The essence remains the same. Seems like such a monotonous drag. But you know what? After all this monotony, we’re still surviving. And even better? We’re still smiling.
As humans, we have something known as a ‘self preservation instinct’. And if you think that only kicks in while you’re being chased down a snowy mountain by Bigfoot, you’re sorely mistaken. It is something we use every day to break out of the monotony, even in the smallest of ways. It is this self preservation instinct which enables you to find joy in routine because depression is just as serious a problem as any physical ailment. Your mind tries as hard to keep healthy as your body does. And your self preservation instinct kicks in not only to save your body from injury but also prevents life from wounding your soul. It’s what lets you enjoy the small things in life which bring immeasurable happiness.
Still not sold? Let me try harder. Think about a few things. That little jig you did this morning when you only had to snooze your alarm once. The joy of having squeezed all the toothpaste out of that tube- mom would be so proud :’). Finding your favourite shirt hanging inside your closet- all freshly ironed- which instantly makes the sun shine a little brighter. Feeling like a pro chef having made that perfectly round sunny side up. Tapping your feet against the floor as you listen to that new song you just downloaded. That sense of achievement when you finish more work than you’d originally planned on getting done. That smug feeling when you leave before your boss. Getting a window seat in the train and feeling the breeze- and occasionally the stench- blow across your face. The adrenaline rush you get when your favourite stretch of road is empty enough for your to finally step on the accelerator. The child-like excitement of finding your favourite meal cooked at home for dinner. Or the not-so-child-like excitement of an invitation to unwind at that bar with your squad. The satisfaction of cracking the top of a creme brulee. The ease with which you fall asleep knowing the day has been spent well.
Yes. Life is routine. Life is boring. But in the middle of all that boredom, our mind finds fascination. We’re wired to be fascinated. Remember how everything fascinated you as a kid? IS THAT A PLANE? OH MY GOD IT IS. Somehow, that turns into ‘another noisy aircraft breaking my focus’ as we grow up. Where does that fascination go? From being something that occupies our entire head, we stuff that wonderful fascination into a broom closet smaller than the one in which Harry slept without realising that it is now that we need it, more than we ever did! As long as we’re able to remain fascinated by the smallest things around us, life will never seem routine because no two days will ever be the same. There will always be something new to discover or be amazed at. We just have to catch it as it passes us by.
We’re so insignificant in the scheme of things, there is so much around us which we haven’t seen. There’s so much to listen to and so much to learn.Where is the time for routine in this? Every moment is different from the other. There’s beauty and wonder and magic in the unknown. And if we fail to see it, why are we even here? It’s time we appreciate what’s in front of us. Everything has a story, waiting to be shared with a keen mind. We cannot cover the universe in its entirety in our lifetime- it is too large. But that doesn’t stop us from trying. And as we try, we find these treasures left behind for us to discover, with one thing leading to the next and there is no time to stop or worry because yesterday has passed and today is giving us yet another clue to find the hidden gems tomorrow. Life is an adventure.
And if you still want to believe life is routine, I urge you to. Because it is routine/ It’s routinely different.