Our routines keep us sane.
Knowing where we have to go, what we have to do, just how much we have to do every day fills us with purpose, gives us structure and a sense of completion – possibly accomplishment – once the day is done.
Our routines are therefore, medicinal in some sense. They do us good and ensure we show up to the things we should.

But our routines are also cages.
We repeat tasks day in and day out. When we miss a day or a task, we feel incomplete, inadequate and unaccomplished.
The monotony of every day really starts to hurt when we don’t want to show up to these tasks but have to anyway. Suddenly, it’s a test of endurance, will and perseverance.
When you push through these days, there’s an even bigger sense of accomplishment.

But here’s where the hurt turns septic.
You’ve pushed successively and (to your mind) successfully through days you didn’t want to jump from your bed into your routine and you simply will not take no for an answer even when your body and your brains are dying and crying and aching for a break or a change or the removal of simply one no-longer achievable/unnecessary task.

Here’s where the hurt starts affecting the areas around.
In walks guilt. We feel an extreme sense of guilt or lack of self-worth for skipping that workout, being unable to turn in that draft, not instantly responding to the 57th email (that actually angered you so you simply want to sit with it until your temper subsides), not feeding the stray cow because there just wasn’t enough time on a frenzied day, not calling your friend to check on how his ailing rabbit was doing, etc.

In walks judgment. We deem ourselves dawdlers if we procrastinate by letting ourselves pee for two minutes longer. We won’t forgive ourselves for playing that five minute game of Solitaire to divert our mind from the task at hand and then bring us right back on track (Footnote: A diversion often improves concentration). We won’t allow ourselves the simple pleasures of some soulful music or a short nap or 5 pages of a book we can’t stop reading or staring at a map to simply dream of where you’ll travel to next because these aren’t work-related. They cut into our work and they take away from what should be the focus, thereby making us less productive.

Smash that line of reasoning!
You deserve a break. For all the hard work you put in, for all the times you show up when you don’t want to, for getting through the day when you didn’t want to get out of bed, for checking on the whole world and how it was doing (even on days when you weren’t doing particularly well) and for making it through some tough days and for smiling and crying and yelling through them all.

When work is a drag, play that game, take that nap, really clear your bladder when you pee, listen to that song that soothes you, dream up that trip and bribe yourself with a read.
It makes the day and work sweeter. (Well, at least you’ll bite into it better).

Break the pattern.
The cow doesn’t have to be fed at 5am, the workout doesn’t have to be done at 6am, breakfast doesn’t have to be eaten at 8am, the email doesn’t have to be responded to at 9am, lunch doesn’t have to polished off in 15minutes (chew your food!), your friend’s rabbit will survive (or it won’t…either way there’s nothing you’ll be able to do about it). A few minutes here or there, a smaller set of tasks, a shift in the order of tasks – occasioned by boredom or exhaustion or a poor night’s sleep or a bee in your bonnet – don’t make you a lesser human being.

The race is in your head. The routine is self-induced. You’re doing your best, with what you have and the feeling at the end of the day is yours to feel. Perhaps it can be driven by that rare kindness and gratitude towards oneself. It might mean the difference between dedication and burn out.

We will never have done enough.
The aspiration of every human being is being superhuman in some sense. We aspire to please, to impress, to inspire and to outdo. Now and again, we do. Often, we don’t meet our own ridiculous expectations. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t feel like we’re enough.

Enough of that!
Go get back to your day. For all you can, get it done!





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