We all get into routines. It is insidiously easy for those routines to become ruts – so ingrained in our lives that we almost can’t imagine not doing them. The ruts in our lives can start to run our lives – they become little prisons that keep us contained.
Nothing exposes the ruts in your life like a crisis. A crisis usually has some come external force involved – an accident, a sudden illness, a job loss, a death in the family, or something like that that disrupts routines and breaks down the walls of your ruts.
That something for me was an incident at the local bark park. My wife was standing out in the middle of the park when a pack of dogs that were just running around having fun ran right over her. She went down and couldn’t get up. She suffered a broken leg. That turned my world upside down and exposed all of the ruts that have been running my life.
Suddenly, most of the things that had seemed so urgent, and which had been so time consuming faded into the background. The walls of my ruts came tumbling down in light of the new demands of caring for my life mate. It was easy and clear to see where my priorities needed to be and just as easy to see how really unimportant some of my ruts really are.
We get in ruts in our work too. There are lots of daily routines to be attended to, many of them having importance in the grand scheme of things only in our own minds. For me it was Web sites that had to be updated on a daily basis, or blog posts that I had to make every day, or weekly sales statistics that had to be updated every Sunday afternoon. Well, guess what? The world did not stop when those things did not get done so that I could attend to the needs of my wife. Amazing!
She comes home from the hospital today and there will be 6-8 weeks of limited mobility and rehab. During that time I’m sure some of the old routines and ruts will try to creep back into my life. I probably will start getting back into some routines, but hopefully without the slavish devotion to them that turns them into ruts. I’ve been given a reality check about what’s really important and I need to keep that in focus. I will try to start every day by telling myself that the things that are really important in life are my faith, my family and my health. Only after those three are given priority, then comes my job with the routines that go along with it. Have you taken time to examine your routines to see if they are becoming ruts in your life?