You don’t really realize the importance of routines until you break them. I know, all you hear all the time is don’t get in a rut, constantly reinvent, find a new you. But in all that finding, you can lose track of who you are and what’s important. Take this writing for example. I’ve been pretty religious now for over a month to practice daily (well, week-daily) writing. As much just to put in the time as to express something specific. I’ve been able to do that because I’ve made a place in my day to do that. Travelling has nearly de-railed the whole enterprise.
I find writing a place to synthesize much of what has occurred during the day. To distill down the entire day into one or two salient things to remember. Kind of like the “30 second task that will make you a superhero” or whatever that blog was called: take time during the day to write down what was important so you don’t have to try to figure it out later. When I travel, it’s usually for work. Often in the credit union. So I travel long distances to spend long days doing hard mental gymnastics, often with evening commitments. Finding the time to sit and write even a measly 500 words is daunting. Add a 2am flight arrival and it’s almost impossible.
To some extent this is a test of perseverance. But I think more accurately that I now finally understand why something so simple as taking 30 seconds at the end of every meeting to write down what the important points were can be so effective: it’s hard. It’s hard to force yourself to stop and take time to think. It’s hard to decide what is salient. It’s hard not to just move on to the next thing.
So today, I learned about a startling real-food cafeteria program in francophone schools, a local famers cooperative, a farm-as-therapy for mental illness and a 100km winery. And what is the salient point that I’ve brought home? Co-op people are good people. It is hard to explain the difference values can make until you see cooperatives in action. So here’s to values. Here’s to perseverance. Here’s to hard work. And here’s to routines.