I don’t want to be stuck in a standstill while the world is still revolving.

Photo by Alexas Fotos on Pexels.com

Day after day, I witness the same things. The gentleman that walks by the house on his daily stroll with the dog, the neighbor tending to her garden, and my own saunter down to the fridge for breakfast. While not quite as predictable as clockwork, the differences in these mornings would likely go unnoticed by the cat that wanders the town. Whether it’s 9:15 or 9:45, we never waver too far from our routine.

The question is:

Do we choose to do this?

Or, do we do it simply because it somehow snuck its way into our life like a deer harmless enough to go unnoticed until it starts making a mess of the garden in the backyard?

Herein lies the catch 22 of habits. I brush my teeth each morning and tie my shoes before going outside because it’s natural. It comes without thinking. On the other hand, I pass by strangers each day without a word and stand quietly at the edge of conversation, because they also come without thinking. My only recognition of these events occurs as they’re fading in the rearview mirror.

Sometimes I don’t catch it at all. I can’t tell you how many times, our family has wondered out loud “did we feed the dog?” It’s such a usual occurrence that remembering a single occurrence of it becomes difficult. The memory fades within a moment of us wandering away from his food. We aren’t dumb or ignorant. Our memories are likely comparable to yours.

We are, however, fallible. Just like the pilot in mid-air, we sometimes give ourselves over to the autopilot system that does a decent job of getting us through the drive to work or the slow Sunday morning. Did we choose to do this shift into autopilot? Not really. It was more of unintentional shift brought on by another day that looks very similar to the last few weeks, months, years…but it’s not really hurting anything right?

That is how it starts and it’s often where it stays, but sometimes things become more of an issue. Sometimes, years go by and our beliefs haven’t changed. It’s not that we figured out what we believed years ago. It’s not that one day we attained the perfect stance on all the issues that affect our lives and the world. What really happened is we stopped looking for better solutions. Through ignorance, frustration, or a mix of both, we settled for good enough.

Every day, I find myself falling more in love with change. The changes we make aren’t always right. We often must alter our course later, maybe even backtrack to where we started. At least we aren’t letting ourselves become stagnant. When we don’t allow change into our lives, we don’t leave any opportunities to discover better routes. All the great explorers found new lands by heading in new directions, even if it meant going in the wrong direction for a little while.

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