Occasionally we all feel like we are living in a rut. Our days and weeks are filled with the same activities and schedules. We mow grass, rake leaves, clean the house, sweep out the garage and do the same jobs. We go to the same grocery store on a certain day, wash our car at the same place and see the same people along the way. We go to the same place of worship, and read the same daily or weekly newspaper. Our lives are made up of routines, schedules and the usual.
Occasionally we get bored with the usual and do something different. We enjoy the change briefly. There is always a rush of adrenaline with something different. For example, you may change grocery stores for the week or even drive out of town to try out a restaurant. You may even take a trip to a distant part of the state to see something different. While the unusual is stimulating it often makes us tired and we pine to return to the usual.
The usual is the known and the expected. We’ve done it so many times and usually have the same results. The same results are good if they make us happy. You know what to expect at the little coffee place you frequent and that’s why you keep returning. The grocery store has what you need and you know where to find everything. Unless they change everything around in the store and this drives us crazy until we learn our way around again.
We visit with the same people and often have the same types of conversations because those conversations are within our comfort zone. The usual things we do are all about our comfort levels. With COVID-19 you may not feel comfortable doing a lot because of the unknown. People’s comfort levels have changed over the last year. Worship attendance has dramatically changed. Work places have changed. Community gatherings have changed or don’t exist.
Whatever your “usual” is, try to continue to enjoy the familiar and the routine. Keith Urban sings a song about “All that wasted time.” One line in the song says, “The best years of my life was all that wasted time.” We seldom see the usual we do as wasting time. Usually it’s moving forward with the routines of life. It’s going to school. Doing our homework. Going to work. Earning a paycheck. Saving some money. Paying our bills. Maintaining our houses and cars. Going to the doctor and caring for ourselves. When you really think about it, we’re very fortunate if we have daily and weekly routines. The best of life is often what we do every day.
We don’t vote often. Once or twice a year we may go to the polls. Break with your routine and do something great for your local, state and national government. Go vote. When the election results come in then you’ll know you did your part when you return back to doing your usual.
Dr. Glenn Mollette is a graduate of numerous schools including Georgetown College, Southern and Lexington Seminaries in Kentucky. He is the author of 12 books including Uncommon Sense. His column is published weekly in over 600 publications in all 50 states.