In a world where millions of drones fly to a decided fashion, the standard go-to mechanism to fit in I guess, I find the square pegs, the ones that turn left instead of right and say ‘why?’ or ‘how so?’ stand out more than ever in these gloomy days, bursting like flecks of colourful florescent light exploding amidst a black and white social kaleidescope.
I can already feel I am losing myself while trying to explain this. I find that in these uncertain times, it is safer to stick with the crowd, play the numbers game, don’t run don’t shout, pay the bills, pay your tax, do the 9-5, long for the weekend, curse the weekend for being too short, and repeat. The worst thing is that I myself am slaved to this engrained notion that if you are in a job, it’s better to have an unfulfilling one than to have none. forsake your dreams and ambitions for security and mediocrity. Ideally it would be amazing to for us all to do something we all really love and are passionate about, it would certainly guarantee a few more smiley faces on a Monday morning.
We all become creatures of habit and it’s easy to get swamped with getting-by as opposed to living. On my drive into work each morning, I have noticed the Truman Show-esque circadian rhythms/patterns that I and everyone (or perhaps those I have just observed,) in my routine have.
Here’s an example.
Monday Morning getting to work:
Morning heating on at 6:25 to 7:25 to heat the house before we get up, the same clanging of the pipes is usually the natural precursor to checking the clock. Alarm rings at 6:45am…..hit snooze 5 times and get up.. Reach across to windowsill.. grab my iphone and check my gmail, twitter and facebook (never in any other order) 10 mins same routine, wash teeth, look at face, trim beard spray, wash hands, dry hands, style hair with a precise finger length dollop of hair product, style hair again, wash hands (and wonder every morning if I can do this routine without washing my hands twice and drying, but its a fleeting thought and one I’m destined to think about again). I dress and make my bed.. then sit on the stairs and put my shoes on (never anywhere else) the laces are always tied and I scorn myself internally for repeating a habit I’ve had since I was six in which I would just kick off my shoes and forget about them til’ the next day. After the shoes are on I go downstairs.. glass of water, feed the cats.. call upstairs to my girlfriend because I know we are going to be late. Get into car, at 8:12 every morning I know this because the digital clock is the first thing I look at in the car. I also know that the clock is exactly 9 mins fast and scorn myself again for not adjusting it, but also know that I don’t adjust it, because I somehow feel I am cheating time and if I reach a place 9 minutes ahead of time I’m doing OK. Begin the drive to work, worry about traffic and already forecast being late even though I rarely am. At exactly 15 mins into the journey I pass a BP filling station which has an outside clock, Every day I pass it at around 8:20 that is my yardstick… always at ease if I get there before 8:20 and uneasy if passed after. There is a traffic light which I stop at 3 mins on, in which every day a man with a zimmer frame presses the lights and turtles across the road, again if I see him walking to the traffic lights and think I am ahead of time, I also counteract this notion and think perhaps he is running late and I am still on schedule. (It’s all relative right?) on the rare day I don’t see him I worry if something has happened to him. Turn Right off main road, indicate right and wait to turn whilst looking at next junction, wondering if it’s faster to take it, but I never do. Drive through backroads, pass my girlfriend’s dad in his van on the same stretch of road at the same time, I wave he always flashes his lights. Old man number two appears standing with his long grey bead and wet hair, his hair is always wet as he must shower at the same time in his own routine. He stands outside with his hands clasped behind his back bobbing on his feet as he always does. Peering through each passing driver’s window he acknowledges each driver by meeting their eyes and possibly reminds each driver of their own fixed routine while re-affirming his. When the traffic is slow moving I notice the same people walking themselves or their children to school. The man always dressed in his tracksuit, receding hairline cig in one hand child in other, always looking down; the girl in her green uniform with a ginger bob always waiting for the lollipop man to to guard her across the line and the tweed jacket holding his two children’s hands, they always have caps, satchels and shorts on and are always at the same point when I pass them in the morning. After I pass old man 2, I get to the next junction which I take as a shortcut even though I know its only for buses, if I get there at 8:50 (8:41 in car clock time travel land) There will always be an angry woman looking at me and pointing to the sign, I convince myself everyone does it and don’t feel to bothered about it. I turn into the car park and ask for a weekly ticket, it’s £18 however I never bring cash with me and yet on Sunday night I know I should prepare for this but don’t, I ask the attendant if I can pay him later, he acknowledges even though he also knows that I always pay on the Tuesday morning as I’m never back before 6 on a Monday, yet we go through the same motions because its the routine. I park in the same place as normal, turn my car off and check the phone again in the same order, get out of the car put scarf on first then jacket, never the reverse. I fumble for keys and lock the car after 6 steps I doubt myself and lock it again just in case, needed to see the blinking orange lights as confirmation that car is locked. I rush over the bridge and notice the same cyclist wearing his hi vis jacket, I also notice the 3 ladies with their thermos mugs and trainers. I rush over the bridge and after passing it I slow down as I know I have time to walk to work. I go to California coffee, always order the medium latte to go with no sugar. I read the Guardian that is placed on the counter, in my routine I never buy the Guardian but I read it to give me something to do as I awkwardly wait, I feel checking my phone is an obvious sign I’m ‘padding’ before I get my coffee. On entering my building I say hello to the door man, with the dame phrase..’Morning John.. How’s it going?’…’not too bad…yourself?’ ‘well it’s Monday, the weekend’s aren’t long enough mate’ … ‘I know tell me about it’. Even though we say the same things, it’s the routine we are used to and we don’t deviate.
I could go on but, that’s a bit exhausting and OCD much? I think so. Anyway the point I’m getting to is that we all have our own routines and we probably repeat them on a daily basis, passing time on both the micro and macro scales. I feel that if we follow routine, or trends, we may end up one day years down the line ‘catching ourselves on’ and having a moment in which this is just realised and wonder why we did or do this and where was the ‘me’ in this process?
I think especially in my own experiences I am going to follow my own desires more, and I’ll be more adventurous in pursuing something that makes me happy like a new past time, or meeting new people to shake me out of the hive every now and again. Truly happy people do what they love first because it’s what they love, money, financial security and career progression would always be the last thought in their head, yet it works out for them (-ish) and the happy people are usually the most successful people. If you want to be happy in life you have to make your own kind of music, and not listen to other’s. Listen to your own words and make them work for you as in the end of the day you are the only person who knows you and what’s best for you.
Also on a side note, stop wearing quilted jackets, that is a trend everyone should stop following right now, it won’t be long before it becomes mandatory and we all look like something out of Logan’s run soon. There is a picture floating around of travellers in a bus and everyone is wearing one. If I find it, I’ll post it
Here is a Mama Cas song which just makes me smile from ear to ear, I love this song because it resonates that exact sentiment, Mama Cas isn’t your stereo typical singer in regards to the norms of these days, but bloody hell I don’t think she would care less today. She looks so happy singing this song, every time I feel down I listen to this song.
I hope this post made some point, or resonates with you. If not I’d be happy to hear your thoughts.