Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Creature Of Habit

I am such a creature of habit. If I change my routines my universe is thrown into chaos. Normally my wife and I ride to work together. Since I needed to accompany my son to the oral surgeon yesterday my wife and I drove to work in separate cars. I got into my car which my youngest son has used for the last several months. I immediately noticed that all my favorite satellite radio stations had been changed. OK, Michael, breathe and adapt. The commute to work was smooth until I got off at the 3rd Street exit. Normally I go to the 9th Street exit so I can drop my wife off at her office. After I got off at the 3rd Street exit I quickly realized I was in the wrong lane to turn left. Unfortunately there were traffic cones in the middle of the ramp keeping me from merging to the left. OK, Michael, breathe and adapt. I turned right, then turned left on 4th Street and headed south to Market Street so I could get to my office. About that time I realized that I had completely forgotten to drink my travel mug of freshly brewed Starbuck’s coffee. OK, Michael, breathe and just take the mug into the office with you. About mid-morning I was headed to a staff meeting when I realized that I didn’t have my cell phone. I went back to my desk and it was not there. There was some minor anxiety as I wondered if I had dropped my phone somewhere and lost it. OK, Michael, breathe and think. After a moment I remembered that I had laid my cell phone in the passenger seat of my car. During lunch I walked to my parking garage and sure enough, there was my phone exactly where I had left it. None of these little mishaps were life altering but they did remind me how much I go through life on auto pilot. Such trance like living is a hindrance to mindful and intentional living. Admittedly, much of my routine is a safety net for my aging mind which doesn’t always work as sharply as it once did. Still, I definitely wasn’t “in the moment” on my morning commute. Sometimes I remember leaving home and I remember arriving at work but have no memory of the actual commute. If you are not careful you can live your whole life like that.

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