How I crave the boredom of a routine

Growing up, I watched my parents follow a routine to the hilt. You could set the clock based on the action being performed by the adults at home. I’d see my dad ride his trusty sea green Vespa 150 NV at 6:30 pm into our town home complex while I’d be playing in the neighborhood park. Everywhere I looked and everyone I looked up to, I found the boredom of a routine. These people were everywhere to be found.

Iyer Uncle would start his scooter and go for his walk at 5 am. The milkman delivered fresh milk at precisely 5:30 am, the newspaper would land in our front yard at 5:45 am. . Amma (Mom) and Nanna (Dad) were ready to catch the 6:45 bus to their respective offices after breakfast. As I knew it, this was life! The mechanically wound alarm clock was a kick starter. The mere act of winding it before crashing into bed was muscle memory.

I wasn’t gonna have any of it. I wasn’t going to submit my life to the clock!

Twenty years later, I want what they had.

To this day, it’s one of my aspirations to put a consistent routine in place. I have innumerable reasons to tell you why I can’t do that. This ain’t the 90’s anymore. We don’t follow the concept of a 9 to 5 anymore. You don’t know how your day is going to look like after you enter the workplace. Workplace isn’t at work anymore. You don’t own your calendar.

How do you validate it in your head? By saying the golden words..I’m passionate about what I do and I wanna make a difference. Thing is, everyone around you is doing the same.

That’s life in the Silicon Valley and most other places. I love what I do and I still aspire to bring method to the madness. Its not a daily priority but a continuous priority just like continuous delivery and continuous optimization and continuous <insert your favorite goto word>

There’s not a blog or a book I haven’t read about productivity. I’ve tried a lot of ways to find more time for myself and I did succeed as well. But wait..where am I spending all the time that I saved to begin with?

Every friend that I have in the valley or outside is swarmed. Is it because we are over committing as a society? Is it because we realize that we don’t have a lot of time on this planet and we’d like to do everything that we want to? Is it because, I no longer live in a time where my life was in a radius of 50 miles and I’m very well aware of the innumerable things I’d like to do from spending more time with family to witnessing the annual migration in Serengeti to exploring the trails in Croatia while also committing to eating farm to table and exploring my passion for food.

Do I have too many passions? Who doesn’t? Isn’t that like a thing these days? Isn’t traveling and exploring the world the mantra to understanding it better. Oh wait.. gotta pay for that right? Add lifestyle addiction to that list. Someone’s gonna work for it. Back to the grind!

The more I spend time with myself on a long commute (me time), I realize that I need to simplify. What does that even mean?

My adorable 3 year old taught me a lot of lessons. Sometimes parenting is an eye opener for the parent more than a child. You can’t be a hypocrite about it! Here’s something I learnt.

  • Saying YES to one thing means saying NO to everything else in that time.
  • Putting your foot down for something that gives you tremendous joy is valid.
  • You don’t need to travel the world to see the magic inside of you and around you.
  • Being in bed and reading a book at 9 pm is a great thing!
  • The food you eat is supposed to energize you and not slow you down.
  • You gotta make room for play.
  • A good date night is better than spending 45 minutes shopping at the grocer.
  • Meaningful time spent with family and friends is better than hanging out.
  • It is OK to not get what you want. It is OK to cry. It is better to have a shoulder to cry on. It is wonderful to be vulnerable. Its over in a few minutes and you’re laughing again. It is the micro moments and not the macro view.

A good boring routine is any day better than taking it as it comes unless you’re in your 20’s.