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Same old, same old - Is it positive to get back to the routine of daily life

Same old, same old...

Is it just me or have you also found it really hard to get back into things since the summer holiday?

The Swiss writer Ella Maillart wrote:

“One travels to get away from routine, that dreadful routine that kills all imagination and all our capacity for enthusiasm.”

I must admit to feeling a bond with Ella Maillart, I often feel that routine is my arch-nemesis making me do things I don’t want to do (ie housework) and stopping me from being creative.

Over the summer, number one son and I are incredibly privileged to be able to spend some weeks in deepest France where my parents live. The area is rural and uncrowded. There is space to breathe and think and I feel so much more creative. This year during the extremely hot afternoons I loved sitting on the balcony doing some drawings to make into cards for my bags. It was pure joy.

Would it continue to be such a joy if I did it every day for the whole year or is it so special because I have a short time to break with the norm?

The actor Ben Nicholas (known for his role in the Australian Soap ‘Neighbours’ said something interesting:

“Most of life is routine – dull and grubby, but routine is the momentum that keeps a man going. If you wait for inspiration you’ll be standing on the corner after the parade is a mile down the street.”

I find myself reluctantly having to agree with him, so many ideas come when I’m just doing the normal routine stuff: my inbox, a morning run or chatting at the school gate. Without these moments where would we be? When I was younger I loathed routine but I think becoming a parent helped me appreciate it much more and find benefits in it.

Therefore I have to conclude that a balance of routine punctuated with spontaneity is the way to remain creative, inspired and on the edge. The American clergyman Michael Murdoch possibly has a good argument when he points out that

“The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine.”

So now I’ve talked myself into it, I’ll ditch my Eurostar ticket and get back to the grindstone!


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