No Reason is Reason Enough

I’ve been to the Gold Coast twice before. The first time was for a day and a half. The second time a little longer. Both were for conferences and I didn’t have time in either of those instances to see much of the area.

This time it’s different. Both previous times I was here for a specific reason. This time I have no real reason to be here but that’s reason enough.

Of course saying I’m here for no reason isn’t completely true. What I mean is I’m not here for reasons of work or for a specific task.I’m here to kick back and relax with my family and that certainly is reason enough.

We’re here for just over a week and we don’t have to follow a schedule or be anywhere particular at any time. Our routine is very much about having no routine.

We spent today at Movie World meeting super heroes and cartoon characters. I’m not really a roller coaster person but those in the family who are had an amazing time on a number of stomach turning rides.

Routines are wonderful. They help us create systems that make day to day life run more smoothly but when we set up hard and fast routines we can become slaves of those routines,rather than using them to serve us. Slipping out of routine is a great way to remember that routine should never become our master.

I often find that holidays and breaks in routine remind me that I’m dispensable. The world can survive perfectly well without me. Strangely enough, far from being a depressing thought, understanding that the world doesn’t fall apart when I’m not following my normal routine is incredibly empowering. It tells me that I don’t have to carry the world on my shoulders but at the same time I can choose to play a part that will make a difference in the lives of others.

My break in routine is a great way to recharge then get stuck back into my regular life, ready to take myself less seriously while being more effective when my routine cranks up again.

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I can’t see clearly now

eye_glasses.jpgJust a few years back I didn’t need them at all. Now I can hardly get by without them.

I made a break in my routine today. For about the fifth time this year I drove to work rather than cycling. I needed to bring some things to work and take some home so it made sense.

Unfortunately that meant that I didn’t follow my regular routine and so I forgot my reading glasses.

If I hold my head in the right position and squint every now and then I can read most things – if they’re in large print and across the other side of the room.

I guess I should hunt down my old reading glasses and leave them in here just in case this ever happens again.

I’ve only needed glasses for about three years and this is the first time I’ve forgotten to bring them to work so I’m doing OK so far.

Years ago when I was working for the Education Department I’d regularly have to try to break into cars to retrieve keys. Teachers would be visiting the resource centre where I worked for in-service courses. They were out of their routine and that would mean that they’d sometimes do things out of the ordinary, such as locking their keys in their car.

Have you ever stopped to think about how much a regular routine helps your day? Do you find yourself doing strange things when you’re out of routine?

I may have to make a new year’s resolution to never forget my glasses again.

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Same place – different outlook

clock.jpgIt’s amazing how different some places can be depending on when you’re there. I’ve noticed that if I vary the time that I’m riding to or from work, even by half an hour, my surroundings can be quite different.

I can cycle at one time and I’ll mostly see other cyclists that are obviously heading to work. If I pick a slightly different time, I’ll see riders, walkers and joggers out to improve fitness.

It’s almost as if there’s a roster that no one told me about that maps out when different kinds of people can use the shared path network for different purposes.

It was quite different again yesterday. I don’t normally ride that route on the weekend but I had to head in to work early in the afternoon and everything looked so different.

This time it was all families enjoying a ride together. There were smiling children giving their trainer wheels a good workout followed by mums and dads on bikes that only ever see the light of day on weekedns. There were also large groups of people picnicking beside the river or just sitting and enjoying the view. Many of the pedestrians seemed to have lost all sense of direction as they wandered across the path. My bell got a reasonable workout as I warned walkers that I was about to weave past them. It was a very different atmosphere.

I wonder how much we miss by sticking to our normal routines. Have you varied your routine to find a very different outlook?

Maybe all we need to do to break the rut is to go to the same places but adjust our routines a little.

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Fitting in with the kids

We caught up with a few friends last night. We headed out to a local Thai restaurant.

It wasn’t a late night, probably because we all had kids at home. We needed to get home to relieve the babysitters.

I guess another reason it wasn’t a late night also had a lot to do with the children. Having kids certainly puts you into the routine of eating earlier in the evening so we had quite an early booking at the restaurant.

I remember dinners in the past that started late and went on well into the night. These days if we’re not eating by seven my tummy starts asking questions.

Children bring about all kinds of changes to our routines. Sometimes the changes are so subtle that we don’t even notice them.

Are there things you do differently now because you have children? Are there any routines you started when your children were young that have just stuck ever since? Are there routines that are still in place even thought your children have outgrown the reason those routines were put int place?

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Let’s Get Organised

calendar.jpgHow do you keep track of the days and weeks that seem to fly past at warp speed?

Almost two months have already rushed past in 2008. Our brand new year is now well and truly underway and we’re left wondering where all the time has gone.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could stop the world for a week or two so we could catch up? Unfortunately we don’t have that luxury so we need to find workable ways to make our time work for us rather than it being a threat.

Do you have any tricks or tips that help you establish routine for yourself or your household?

Life Skills Trainer, Jill Bonanno, joined me on Friday on 98.5 Sonshine FM for our weekly radio segment, Simply Living. We looked at finding a workable routine for our lives.

For some people it’s a whiteboard, others a diary, some use a computer programme or a portable device of some kind while others plot our their days on a fridge. Whichever way we do it, having some kind of routine ensures that we don’t come to the end of yet another year wondering what happened. Taking control of our lives, while still allowing for spontaneity, helps us to live life to the full with much less stress.

How do you stay organised? How far do you plan ahead? What do you find are the advantages of planning ahead and sticking with some kind of routine?

We discussed routines for ourselves and our families and how a few simple ideas can make life a lot more livable. I’d love your input. Please listen to our discussion by clicking the play button on the audio player in this post before leaving your own ideas in the comments section.

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