Everybody has their security blankets – places or habits that keep you save or in a comfort zone. These things are usually totally unglamorous – think of you as a kid: did you always sit on the same chair for dinner and breakfast and so did the rest of your family? Everybody had their habitual place and this usually goes as far as the habitual role every family member played. And we tend to keep that up and transfer it to other social situations. At my work, we usually have our lunch break together in the conference room and everybody always ends up taking the same chair that we took the day before, and the day before that… and tomorrow probably. You often follow a certain routine and you usually don’t think about it but you will probably be somewhat slightly or even highly irritated when something disturbs this practise.
Even though these routines do have a security function, they also bear the risk of not questioning or changing anything. Ever. But today I discovered – once again – that changing your path does actually help you finding it again.
I woke up uneasy this morning for no apparent reason. I had a nice day yesterday spent with swimming, having dinner with my mother and talking to a dear friend in Australia at the end of the night (time zones are a great invention!). But waking up way too early was really annoying; falling asleep again and then waking up way too late and shattered was annoying, too. The thought of spending the day by myself was annoying but the thought of talking or even meeting someone was annoying, too. As you see: BIG annoyance. I felt tired and restless at the same time, so I decided to go power-walking. I am not that much into jogging at the moment ever since I sprained my ankle in November (no, not during heavy exercise but while walking on heals!!!) and not Nordic walking, just a good power-walk. I do indeed have my jogging or walking security blanket – I usually take the same route all the time, partly because I don’t need to think about the way anymore, partly because I know that the distance is about 6 km and partly because… I am so used to it? There is no ‘danger’ of getting lost? However, today I decided to take the car and drive to a park which is a bit outside the city. I’ve been to that park a million times before but there I also usually walk the same route.
I arrived at the park, still uneasy and annoyed. I started power-walking, listening to music on my earphones but found quickly, that the music annoyed me even more. So I switched it off and still left the earphones in, probably to keep shut out of the world a bit. Oh, and to listen to my exercise app which tells me the distance I have walked so far. The first 3 km were still bad. I power-walked on the usual way but could not relax. There were too many people there (what do you do there, people? The weather was horrible, go home and have coffee and cake!!!), I was very conscious about keeping the right posture which obviously led to being all tensed since I was trying too hard. I couldn’t clear my head; diffuse thoughts of all kind kept nagging but nothing comprehensible, just blabla in my brain.
At that point I decided to leave my usual path. It wasn’t even a very conscious decision; I was just so fed up! And wow, I didn’t even know how many intricate little trails there are on the ‘outskirts’ of the park! Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a jungle, but just a forest type of thing where you have to find your own way. As I kept walking, the flow kicked in – that flow I never believed existed before I started jogging last year. All of a sudden, my body took over and put itself into just the right posture. I didn’t feel the effort anymore and my head became clearer – and all of a sudden I found I had lost the way. I had no idea where I was. This situation would usually scare me a bit but today, I loved it! I just kept walking and walking and of course, eventually found the park again. When I arrived back at my car, I felt absolutely great, had some colour in my face and my head was clear.
What I am trying to say with this little, totally unspectacular story is that sometimes you have to leave your path to find it again. Change your ways a little bit, get lost even, but it will give you a new perspective. This goes for your job routine, your relationships and sometimes just for your usual walking routine. It’s worth it! And I think I will bring mayhem to tomorrow’s lunch break and sit on somebody else’s chair!
Wishing everybody a relaxing Sunday!
Yours truly, madly, deeply!