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In praise of routines, but then again...

I have to admit, it's been a crazy week. And when routines are disrupted, as mine have been this week, it brings a greater appreciation for the place of routine in your life.

Imagine for just a moment that the things that bring boredom, repetition, even tedium -- the things you think you know so well and always do with your eyes shut -- imagine something takes that away. Imagine your life is turned upside down by some event that you have no control over. Someone dies. (No one has died in my life this week.) You move to a strange city. A fire destroys everything including your home. You bring the baby home.

You get the picture.

Suddenly everything that was boring and routine is missing and you have to scramble to adapt. Funny thing is this: you often quickly establish new routines. Why? Because they ground us. Routines keep us stable. Even as we figure out our way in a new world, feeling untethered from what once was, new routines help stabilize us.

So, there it is. Life. Things change. Apple carts are upset, and what do we do? We pick up as many apples as we can. And if we can't pick up any, then we start organizing pebbles or sticks or thoughts; whatever we glom onto, we make a pattern out of something.

So, even while you may be feeling disconnected, at odds, know this: your human nature wants to organize and make sense of your life. Even when things seems out of control, mysteriously pinballing all over the place, trust in your natural ability to organize feelings and events back into a pattern that will sustain and -- eventually, even -- bore you.

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