Every now and then something comes along that interrupts my routines. This time it was moving to a new apartment. Initially, I felt all the excitement that goes along with setting up a new place. To be honest, I was not looking forward to the actual move, but figuring out where my furniture would go, how I would set up my kitchen, what to take and what to give up, offset any anxiety I was feeling.
Once I was moved in (mostly) the full impact of having my routines changed came home to me. I knew where the two grocery stores were located, but each store is set up very differently from the ones I was used to shopping at. Where do they put the coffee in this store? Where’s the nearest, and cheapest, gas? Where’s the nearest branch of my bank? But the biggest one of all was ‘how do I get there from here?’
You know how it is when you have your well-traveled routes to the places you visit most often. It’s like your car knows the way and you can go on autopilot for the most part. Suddenly I had to stop and think every time I got into the car. Where am I going? What’s the best way to get there? What’s my preferred way to get there in spite of what my in-phone navigator wants me to do?
Let me be clear that nothing about any of this is burdensome. I’m happy to do it! It’s something I noticed and continue to notice as I become familiar with my new neighborhood. Of course, I’m establishing new routines, but nothing is so familiar yet that I fail to notice it. Just the other day as I was driving to my little once-a-week volunteer ‘job,’ I felt grateful for the new route, for the landscaping and the houses, for the need to pay attention rather than make the drive in the dull haze of routine.
I like this feeling of being awake. I like the added depth and color that’s come into my life. I think I might need to interrupt my patterns on a regular basis. I think I won’t decide that moving more often is a good idea, though! I don’t know yet how I’ll do it. But I’ll take this experience with me, remember it, and repeat the feeling whenever I’m feeling stuck.