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Caught in a pattern

Once again, Zen Habits comes through with a great article. This time it's on making time for personal goals. Eleven useful tips are laid out for those who are trying to find the time, but I wonder about people that have all sorts of it. Almost too much time on their hands. And what about those that have that along with a regular routine? Where's the spontaneity?

I know a little too much about routine. My job has set hours, so I can thankfully arrange my life around it without many surprises. There's time to nap, write, play music, exercise, watch DVDs and go out to shows. As nice as it is to have time to do all those things, I can't help but think I'm regimented to a time schedule. If I nap too late in the afternoon, falling asleep at night will be more difficult. I must take advantage of the nice weather, so I have really no excuse to pass up some late afternoon running. There seems to be a time and place for everything, including spending time with friends and family. And there's very little spontaneity.

Maybe this is why I'm looking forward to going down to Austin later this week. I have a primary objective in getting down there early Thursday morning and hitting a couple of day parties. Certain friends that live in other parts of the country will be there and I want to spend time with them. Loose plans have been made around the scheduled events and when I go back home is up in the air at the moment. It's almost like I'm forcing myself to be spontaneous. And I think that's good.

Make no mistake, a routine is good to have. It helps to stay on track with your goals and stay out of trouble. And starting a routine is something that you shouldn't put off doing or endlessly wax philosophical about. I've known people who think life will become much better once they are out of school and making X-amount of money in salary. Seeing their struggles (struggles they didn't anticipate) once they got to that point, I realized the importance in finding a balance between struggle and enjoyment in the now.

As desirable as having a lot of free time is, it's hard to enjoy it alone. Maybe that's why I stick to a regular routine. A routine isn't bad for my health per se, but it does seem to be an excuse for trying something different once in a while.


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