Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Getting back to the grind

I’m a creature of habit.  I always eat my fruit snacks in a specific color order.   I like to sit in the same seat even when seats aren’t assigned and once I have a favorite dish at a restaurant I will never cheat on it (ok, maybe a little side action, but I’d never not order it).

I assume I do these things because they bring me a sense of comfort and predictability.  So doesn’t it seem ironic that right after a breakup, when comfort is what I need the most, all my routines go out the window? 

I’ve been thinking about this for a while and it seems the root cause is after a breakup, when my heart is broken (or maybe just very badly scraped and bruised, it’s tough to tell the extent of the damage before the initial swelling comes down) everything seems completely different.  Consequently going through my normal routine of a healthy breakfast every morning, going to the gym daily and sitting down to check out recipes on my favorite blogs feels like a total sham. 

In the past I’ve dealt with this feeling by just powering through.  I told myself that if I could act like everything was normal and like nothing had changed I would wake up one day and actually feel that way.  But has this ever really been true?  And what exactly is the point of doing all these comforting routines if I feel like I’m giving myself a do-it-yourself root canal while struggling through them?

Plus there is one huge central weakness to the “my life is normal, you can be normal too” master plan this time around.  Samuel Whiskers lives and works here and is in my face all the time. 

Easy is never the right word to use when it comes to relationships or the ending of one, but I’m starting to think that I never had a full appreciation for what absence can do for the heart, and I don’t mean in the growing fonder sort of way.  Maybe it really was possible to go back to my routine and feel better the other times because not having to see the guy made it that much simpler to pretend he never existed.  It was like I just continued on the same path I was on, cut out that miserable, necrotic segment know as boy’s existence and then spliced the clean ends of my life back together like that blip in the radar never occurred. 

But how can I possibly do this when there is living proof that it did happen crossing my path, like an oversized, totally not cute, black cat almost everyday?

I guess the short answer is I can’t. 

So here’s the deal.  I do need to function.  I’m running out of clif bars to eat instead of real food and rewearing socks a third time is just disgusting. But maybe this time when I go back to my routine I can focus on rediscovering what I really loved about it in the first place.  Instead of just going through the motions I need to start putting them into action.  For instance maybe I shouldn’t just read new recipes I want to try, maybe I should actually make them and have friends over to help me enjoy the results.

I’m still struggling on how I’m going to rekindle my romance with laundry, but you get the idea.  It seems like a step in the right direction, even if it’s a modest one.


1 comment:

  1. It seems that maybe this isn't only an opportunity to discover what you liked about your old routine, but also to incorporate some new elements into the routine. Your rountine's already been broken down, so why not add in some new elements as you build it back up again? (Like the recipe idea!) Things will never be the same as before Samuel Whiskers, but who'd want it to be the same when you have the opportunity to make the After better than the Before ever was :-)