On a lot of days I “get stuck”.
I come home from work and do mostly the same things that I do every day. I put my bag away. I spend some time on reddit and facebook. I take a walk, either to buy groceries or some other necessity. I cook dinner, play video games or watch netflix, and then go to sleep.
Oftentimes, at the end of such a day, I lie in bed feeling like I’m in the rut of a soul-crushing routine. I ate good food, came home to awesome roommates, and did a few things that I enjoy. Yet I still feel a near-existential yearning to live differently. Wouldn’t I be happier elsewhere, maybe travelling, doing new and exciting things every day?
Fortunately, yesterday I had a day that reminded me that life doesn’t need to be like that at all.
I got home from work, ate a snack, and then headed out to the opposite side of my city to go skateboarding with my friend.
Usually I stop myself from doing things after work that are so time-consuming. I worry about leaving chores undone, about whether or not I’ll have time to relax before bed, and about what time I’ll get to eat dinner.
I’m glad that I chose to drop those worries yesterday. I had a ton of fun, explored places I had never been to before, and landed some awesome tricks 🙂 Most importantly, though, I broke my routine.
I didn’t need to quit my job, leave my country, and heed the call of the wild. I just did something different than I usually do with my afternoon.
And now, as I sit here and write this, I have another whole day in front of me to get those chores done. Maybe if I started to truly neglect responsibilities, and never do any chores at all, my life would deteriorate. But the truth is that I can afford to take time for myself, to live the way I want to, and still take care of my shit.
I don’t really have an overwhelming number of things on my to-do list. What I have is a comfort zone that I often choose not to leave.
So my message for today: don’t get stuck in that comfort zone!
Right now, I want you to think about today. Think about what you’ve done today and what your plans are for the rest of the day. Do you think, at the end of this day, you’ll lie in bed feeling that yearning I described earlier?
If so, I want you to finish reading this and then go do something. It can be anything, but it has to be either:
A. Something you don’t usually do
B. Something you truly love to do
Take a walk somewhere. Buy some wood and build a coffee table. Watch Bob Ross and actually try to paint along with him. Learn a handful of words in a language you don’t know yet. Go skateboarding.
I don’t care what it is. And don’t worry about forming a new positive habit or hobby. Don’t worry about whether or not you’ll build more tables in the future, or if you’ll stick with doing art forever. Just try something out today. Maybe you’ll love it and do it for the rest of your life, maybe you’ll never do it again.
The point is to ensure that you use the potential in your day.
The point is to make sure you’re really living; to make sure you’re using your time. If you do something that you’re passionate about, or something outside of your ordinary routine, then you’ll sleep a lot easier tonight. You will have the clarity of conscience that can only be found in a day well-used.