Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Rut-Busting

It's almost February. I did not make any resolutions for 2013. I have icy tire ruts in my driveway. I want to curl up, read books, eat, watch movies, and forget about the world outside. Boredom compels me to break the dull cycle. I suggest a weekly family night at the Y. There is one half-hearted assent, and one outright "Noooo!" I bundle up and take a walk before sundown instead. I don't want to go to the Y, but I feel the need to bust out of the rut.

As a routine-lover, I also crave memorable times with friends, family, and community that defy boredom. As my work and family responsibilities have grown, my social life has shrunk, and I long for communal moments throughout my week, but I have to work to get them. I have to leave my comfort zone and put them on the schedule. Sometimes I'd rather do the dishes. I want to learn or do something new, but starting requires doing, and that cuts into that curling up thing.

Past successful rut-busters have been:
-a freelance writing course offered through adult ed. I discovered I had worthwhile ideas, and I learned how to get started and to research where I could publish them, something I've always wanted to do. I actually published my first short article for a weekly on-line newsletter. (Unfortunately my day job started soon after, and there are many unfinished stories and ideas sitting on a hard drive somewhere.)
-ballroom dancing with my husband. The 30-minute drive to class required skipping dinner or eating on the way in the middle of the week. Talk about getting me out of my go-to-bed-by-7-with-a-book routine! Now my husband enjoys showing off whenever we get the chance.
-book club. This is recent. I am getting out with women again and expanding my reading list.

Right now I'm pondering an on-line writing activity that could be fun and challenging. It seems to be a no-brainer as the requirement is to compose 21 200-500 word pieces, and the price to participate is only $21! Short and sweet, inspiring and energizing.  I haven't signed up yet. I am scared that I won't have time to write. I wonder if I will feel undue pressure, and it won't be fun. I'm worried that I will be too inspired and never sleep. (I have to have quiet and concentration when I write. I write until I think it's perfect, which can take hours even for a blog post!)

My life has required a lot of extra energy lately, and with winter on I have that desire to hibernate and let nothing unusual happen to me, but I want to get out of my rut too. When the driveway thaws my tires could sink in the ruts if  I don't move my car. Doing something new is a way to grow. It's a way to find new community. And a path to new inspiration.

I'd better put my car in gear, drive my family to the Y, and grease up my keyboard.

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