W for walking and for #wycwyc.
I have this thing where once a year I meet up with my sister and a friend and we walk 13.1 miles.
My sister lives in Austin and I see her all the time. My friend is a different story.
To my chagrin, we chit chat sporadically during the intervening 364 days, but don’t have hours of uninterrupted time except for one day each year.
On our annual 3M-walk’perience , however, it feels as though we have all the time in the world to slowly catch up.
We each ‘take’ four miles (this equals 12–not sure where the extra 1.1 goes) and, during that stretch, talk, ask, yammer, ramble, shout or cry about absolutely anything we want.
We celebrate our successes. We complain. We vent. We reveal every detail of what’s changed over the past 364 days and, simultaneously, have an opportunity to step back and marvel at how far we’ve come.
I cannot emphasize enough how quickly the miles pass given the multitude of topics we cover.
happy faces at mile #1.
This year’s walk felt different to me.
It felt off.
I loved seeing my friend and basking in her energy. I adored the uninterrupted-by-our-children sister-time. As I talked through my allotted 4 miles I arrived at a shocking conclusion: I had nothing new to share.
My year had been fine. I worked. I spent time with friends. I had joy. I had sorrow.
It dawned on (& then terrified) me as I chatted during my stretch how similar my ’16 was to my ’15.
So similar, in fact, I could scarcely differentiate between the two.
still smiling. mile 13.1
As we finished the race and climbed on the buses which would bring us back to the start I felt…something.
I couldn’t discern if I was sad or disappointed, but what I felt both eluded words and strongly reminded me of a quote Id read years ago by Robin Sharma:
Don’t live the same year 75 times and call it a life.
I’d found Sharma’s words interesting when I first encountered them (and will admit I had a moment of ONLY 75?!) yet presumed they’d never apply to me.
During my miles I’d realized they entirely applied to me.
I possess routine which provides structure/consistency (and if you believe the experts this is key for success), yet my version of routine has quite literally become the same things over and over.
As I bumped along on the bus I questioned if my routine had slid into monotony and triggered my living the same year twice.
I challenged myself with regards to precisely what the difference between routine and monotony might be (it was a long ride) and whether Sharma’s quote could be a powerful yet not apply to me.
Alas, Ive no great insights with which to wrap up this post. No Seinfeldian yanking of a thread where-by all my musings fall neatly together.
I’m still struggling/deciding for myself and, more than anything, curious what you think:
- If routine & structure breed success – – can they also be detrimental to living fully?
- Can routine morph into monotony and ruin opportunity?
- Have you ever felt as though you’ve lived the same year twice?