For my entire life, I have shunned routine. I can’t stand doing the same thing in the exact same way day after day after day. Perhaps it is what my partner jokingly calls my “fierce independence,” which is pretty accurate. I come from a long line of fiercely independent people, including my mom, my Grandma and even her mother and aunts.
And yet, I’ve always found an unusually comforting type of solace in, for example, the rituals of the Roman Catholic Church. Knowing that I was doing the same things in Mass that everyone else was doing gave me a sense of belonging.
There is a not-so-subtle rhythm to life that has always seemed to escape me. That’s not to say I’ve never found it, because there have been plenty of times when I’ve managed to get into that rhythm, but for one reason or another, it always passes so quickly. Here’s a good example: With rare exception, I’ve never really had a television show that I watched, no matter what. Even now that I’ve had TiVo for the last five years, I still can’t manage to follow a show from beginning to end. For one reason or another, the episodes get backed up on my TiVo, or something happens that seems to derail my ability to watch television altogether.
So here I am, my rhythm completely out of whack. But why? Too many distractions, I guess. Although I work many hours, the excuse that there “just isn’t enough time in the day” doesn’t hold water because there is enough time in the day.
I started thinking about all of this in New York over the weekend as I contemplated my practice (my Buddhist practice, that is). I have what must be the most untamed mind of anyone who has ever tried sitting on a meditation cushion. There are many, many times when I simply cannot do it. And something inside of me says it’s because I can’t ever seem to find my rhythm.
So I am going to simplify my life and remove the distractions. Easier said then done, especially for me. But I feel like it’s the next step I need to take. And maybe then, I can get to those back episodes of Lost and Nip/Tuck that have been sitting on my TiVo since last season.
Wish me luck.