My blog friend DT brought up the question of routine; more specifically, how one could avoid it. Seeing how I have semi-managed to fall into one myself at first I didn’t think I was the proper one to answer this question, or even take a stab at it. Until I began to think about some of my friends and where they are in life: and although each and every one of them has a different story, they are all twenty-somethings and all have found themselves in some sort of routine.

I think our society thrives, nay, depends and demands routine from all it’s members starting from the top down: successful business men and women all talk about ‘to do lists’ or ‘agendas’ or ‘time management’ etc, notions that they believe helped them on their journey to success. In an attempt to emulate such successes, parents and teachers hammer into the heads of their young the benefits of organization and routine and the pitfalls and consequences of spontaneity, such as you’ll never get into college or university, you’ll never find a job, you’ll never do your laundry etc etc. I guess the perfect example of this kind of ‘education’ would be my co-worker friend, let’s call her Valerie, who at the tender age of 22 has two (yes, 2) degrees, a full-time job and a fiancée. She comes to work, goes home, and plans her wedding on her weekends. At best she’ll come out with us sporadically, and if planned by the receptionist. Otherwise it is her and her fiancée; let’s call him Rico, doing whatever it is they do with their spare time. Val is in what I like to call the triple threat: 8 hours of work, 8 hours of play, and 8 hours of sleep. Don’t get me wrong here; she might go to the gym or shopping, but compared to the stories she’s told me of her university days, it is a tame tame world that she’s found herself in.

When I look at Val I see myself; at least, the girl that had her world pulled out from underneath her almost 3 years ago. Had my world stayed exactly the same, had my routine not been shaken to the core to the point of no return, I would be exactly where Val is today. And that scares me like nobody’s business. It’s great for those who strive for the perfect balance; good on you. But for me it signals the end of an era, the twenty-something era of exploration and discovery long before it had the chance to truly begin.

Not to say that after your 30th birthday all there is left is routine. Hardly! It takes a bit more effort on your part and a few more scary sacrifices, but as a very brave friend of mine showed me and the rest of his posse, change is possible and change can be an adventure in itself.

On the eve of his 29th birthday this friend of mine decided that the time had finally come, all the excuses have proven useless, for him to travel the world. That meant, of course, he would have to take a sabbatical from his job, save up the money to travel in style, and leave the girl of his dreams that he had just met. Personally, I don’t know if I could do what he did to, well, do what he did before, during and after his trip. But it got done and the experience changed his life. It was an incredible story to read and watch, and I know that he has inspired countless numbers of people to do what it takes to achieve your dream before taking that seemingly endless plunge into the black hole routine.

I think, at least for myself, that it is really really easy to fall into a routine. It is comfortable, familiar, and simple to maintain. Spontaneity, however, requires effort, loose planning, improvisation and most importantly courage. We naturally fear what we do not know, and many f us prefer the known outcome to the potential of chance or fate. I guess that is my answer, DT; to avoid routine we must have the courage to welcome and face change. I know that this is so much easier said/typed than done, but think about it: I don’t know how it is for other people, but adults in my parents generation, the boomers, snicker at the notion of their children’s (twenty-somethings) new fangled ideas of work, play and everything in between. The ideas of travel, spontaneity, broken work weeks filled with afternoon siestas, but mostly the notion that we (the echo) can change the world is often laughed at and dismissed by the boomers as nothing but idyllic dreams of an over-idealistic and uninformed generation.

What I find amusing is that generation, the generation that changed the world, has now come full circle and taken the place of their parents who no doubt snickered at the free-flowing hair, love and spirit of their children who experts say will change the world until the day they die. I know that they are not finished with their influence, that they are not ready to end their reign of change – but it will end soon. The next 4 to 5 years will be the years where we, the echo will develop, mature and discover just exactly what we can do, what we want to do, and what we can do. The world will change again according to its inhabitants and how we respond to the environment we are in. In other words, the world will change by us, for us; so as the definition of ‘routine’ may no longer mean 8-8-8 of work, rest and play. Personally I think that the traditional ‘routine’ is ready to end. The question is, my twenty-something and thirty-something friends, are we ready to begin?

Better book those flights soon eh?


~ by Carrie on February 25, 2007.

2 Responses to “Evolution”

  1. “Variety is the speice of life” n’est pas?

  2. I agree that names should be changed to protect the STUPID!

    I read your blog the other day and have I ever told you that you are amazing! I could read what you write all day and when it comes to your regular blog, I can relate to some of it but could never explain it in such good choices of words. I envy the way you write.. I’m amazed!

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