As my husband and I enter our twentieth year of marriage (yes, I was a child bride), we’ve noticed we both feel a great need to shake up our routines. It’s so easy to get caught in a rut, especially as we become older and set in our ways.
I will admit, of the two of us, my husband Doug is better at mixing things up. He’s constantly looking for a new road to drive or a new hobby to enjoy. He recently purchased himself a Kitchen-Aid mixer and has been having a blast cooking new recipes for the family.
I, on the other hand, have grown more comfortable with my routine and I know Doug sometimes shakes his head at me. However, being a writer, I find I’m quite cozy within my four walls, dreaming up adventures for other people.
But has this been at the expense of my own adventures?
Despite my contentment in my rut, I do recognize the need to get up, stretch my legs and see something I haven’t seen before. In fact, if I linger, glued to my routine, for too long, my body reacts. I grow restless. My legs hurt. I need to flex everything that makes me vital.
I’ll share something I witnessed in my husband recently when he tried making pasta for the first time. We had a friend over for drinks and christened his pasta maker and ended up with an amazing meal. Doug’s eyes lit up and he said it was one of the best nights he’s had in a long time because it was different and it taught him new skills. I loved seeing him so excited. It made me want to experience some of that enthusiasm for myself.
This doesn’t mean I’ll be enrolling myself in skydiving classes any time soon. God, no. Nevertheless, I do fantasize about broadening my horizons. In fact, I’ve been toying with the idea of signing up for percussion lessons. Yeah, you heard me. I’ve always wanted to play drums. Wouldn’t that be a blast? Just think of the plot bunnies it could inspire.
I wonder if other writers get caught in ruts as well. Do you make the effort to try new activities and meet new people, or do you hide in your shell as I sometimes do? Do you seek out challenges and when you do, does your new activity make it into a book?
Sometimes we really do have to force ourselves to live in the world. A little adventure never hurt anyone. And sometimes I just want to sit down in my comfy place and enjoy Doug’s pasta.