Routines and Ruts

Oregon Trail wagonwheel ruts

“As long as habit and routine dictate the pattern of living, new dimensions of the soul will not emerge.” ~ Henry Van Dyke

“I saw my mother in a different light. We all need to do that. You have to be displaced from what’s comfortable and routine, and then you get to see things with fresh eyes, with new eyes.” ~ Amy Tan

Sometimes it’s good to have my regular routine shaken up a bit. My in-laws are visiting and we’ve been having so much fun doing things Barry and I wouldn’t normally do. That’s why vacations are so important. We get a chance to vacate our lives, to explore, or experiment, which in turn help us discover new things about ourselves.

I don’t know about you, but I get stuck in ruts and it’s sometimes hard to pry myself out of them. On the one hand, I’m attached to my daily routine, on the other I feel like I’ve become uninteresting because I’m bored but don’t want to admit it.

I know people who go to the same vacation spot every summer, or who eat at the same restaurants. I’ve never understood that. I know that there are multiple layers to be discovered about a place. If it’s true about people, it can also be true about places. But I also want to explore new places and see and feel the beauty and wonder they offer.

I’ve been reading Winter’s Tale, by Mark Helprin. At first I didn’t get what he was trying to do by describing New York City in such detail as the nineteenth century turned to the twentieth. I’m not a big fan of large cities, which has more to do with being a highly sensitive person than with the merits or downfalls of cities. But as I continued reading, I felt that Helprin was doing something I had tried to do in my book, he was giving the city and surrounding countryside different personality traits and he describes them in such interesting ways that I began to feel that I had misjudged them, especially New York City.

As I’ve traveled to various places around the world, I’ve felt subtle differences that a place embodies. When Barry and I took our trip around the world in 1996, we did have a stop for a few days in New York City. It was difficult for me to be in all that energy. It was the same at most of the large cities we visited in various countries around the world, but after reading Helprin’s book, I’m beginning to feel differently about cities.

Reading is much like visiting a new place. It’s a way to shake up our ideas about the world and the way it works. We get a chance to hear a character’s thoughts, and understand what motivates them. I’m looking forward to finishing reading Winter’s Tale. It’s a book one could read over and over and get something new from every time through.

Thanks for reading. I appreciate your comments and likes.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2017

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, a historical, time-travel, magical realism, women’s novel. It’s available in all ebook formats at Smashwords, and print-on-demand at Amazon and other fine book sellers. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.

Published by lucindasagemidgorden

I grew up in the West, the descendant of people traveling by wagon train to a new life. Some of their determination and wanderlust became a part of me. I imagine them sitting around the campfire telling stories, which is why I became first a theatre artist, then a teacher and now a writer. They are all ways of telling stories.

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