Attacking The Routine
I feel compelled to write something meaningful and clever and brilliant. To put forth a diatribe on a subject so scathingly polarizing that the annals of history will reference it in years long distant from now as a turning point in the evolution of human history. After all, history is made by the acts of one person expanding and becoming greater than the person. Evidence: Rosa Parks. Benjamin Franklin. Harvey Milk.
Alas, my brain has no such grand expositions readily available at this time. Instead it feels poised, waiting for some brilliant revelation. Whereas I know simply standing back and waiting for life to come to me will never get me anywhere, there is merit in taking a moment to stand and absorb everything that is around in a moment of contemplation and, perhaps, meditation.
Consider this my writing zazen.
The night around me is a dichotomy of lightness and darkness. Moonlight streams through the heavy cloud cover whenever a break appears. One night past full, still visibly pregnant, she hangs proudly. She does not care that the light she casts is not her own, for in reflection she provides a calmness and stillness that is not present in the more harsh and revealing light of the sun. Moonlight does not reveal the details — the flaws and inconsistencies — that may be best seen by the light of the sun, yet it also hides the richness and fullness of texture and color. In providing tranquility it removes vitality. Silhouette and impression are her tools.
In repose I find moonlight and routine are similar. In routine one can lose sight of the details, the fleeting moments that may serve to make life vibrant. Get up. Go to work. Toil through the job. Come home. Relax. Reconnect with family. Sleep. Wash, rinse, repeat. For the order sought by the brain with OCD this routine can become the life’s blood, yet it is pale and reflective only of the order sought. The life needing living is not revealed by the moonlight of the routine; such brilliance is only seen when a bright light is cast on those areas needing attention.
Mrs. AP is my bright light. Her need to get up, get out, to break routine help bring the balance of brilliance and vitality to my life. My routine needs breaking at time to time, for the pale light in which I wander to be flooded with color and texture heretofore unseen. The forms of this bright light may come in many forms; a new restaurant sampled, a new park visited, a new intriguing documentary viewed. Breaking of the routine may come in revisiting activities once regular but lost to the decay of entropy; revisiting our favorite club, going for a walk on the beach, taking a drive to a store we’ve not frequented in ages. The bright light Mrs. AP casts need not be overwhelming, merely focused enough to help me see that which I had been missing unawares.
Becoming slave to the routine becomes a danger to us all, but more so to those with even minor forms of OCD. Lives become ordered around events and schedules. Go to the Munch every Wednesday. Have a date on Friday. Play at the Swinger Club on Saturday. Go to church Sunday morning. Back to work Monday. Tend to the kids. Have dinner. Do the dishes, watch the news, go to bed. Clean the floggers and crops on Tuesday. Oil the leather corset, chaps, gloves, boots, and paddle on Thursday.
I see you nodding your head there. You do it too. The routine becomes The Routine, the black hole at the center of your galaxy. Unseen, the all-powerful forces are nevertheless felt. Don’t alter the sleep schedule. Don’t reach out to new people on the edges of the social circle. Stay away from the new unknown scary thing! It bites!
As I have found by following the path set by the bright light of Mrs. AP, leaving the comfortable box of routine brings about personal growth and increases the variety of pleasurable activities available. The ways we play and love and fuck have expanded. Happiness, while not dependent upon the activities in which we engage, can be experienced more frequently as the number of pleasurable activities open to us increases. Growing together and exploring together unveils more joy. More joy leads to more exploration. The cycle becomes self-sustaining if we simply allow ourselves the opportunity.
All we need to do is break the routine.
Stay SINful, friends.