This week, Karen says: "Okay, this one is more participatory than most Weekend Assignments. I'm not just asking you to write something; I'm asking you to do something. Are you up to the challenge?"
Weekend Assignment #225: What are you going to do this weekend (or on your next day off) that's different from what you usually do? Make plans to break out of your usual routine, and tell us what they are.
Extra Credit: What else would you do that day, if you had the time and the money?
...And when her shift is over she goes back to Mineola,Sits on her couch, opens up a diet cola and says
"I'm so, I'm so sick of this placeI'm so ready for a change of paceI'm just looking for a new routine"So she spins a globe, and the next thing you knowShe's living in Lichtenstein
- Fountains of Wayne, "New Routine" (from Traffic and Weather, 2007)
To be honest, for the most part I actually prefer routines, and I'm sure that stems directly from my personal control issues. I function best when I know the plan, and I know I'm not unusual in that way. At the same time, though, I'll make jokes about the routine - "Off to Target - another exciting Friday night for the Vasquez crew" - and I do chafe against it sometimes. After all, you can't spell "routine" without "rut."
I didn't exactly break my routine wide open this weekend - shoot, going to BlogHerCon would have really fulfilled this assignment! - but I did shift things around a bit. Sometimes, it takes baby steps.
To begin with, we did NOT go to Target on Friday night! Tall Paul and I went out for some dinner, with the intention of a trip to what Elder Nephew used to call "the circle store" afterwards, but we decided to go home instead, relax on the couch, and watch the previous night's episode of Burn Notice from the DVR. (BTW, people, are you watching that show? It. Is. Awesome.)
On Saturday, after coffee with my sister at Starbucks - a part of my weekend routine that will actually be suspended for the next couple of weeks while she and her family are on vacation, so I didn't want to change it this week - I did the Target run, as well as my other weekend errands. My husband, meanwhile, was at the movies without me, seeing Hellboy II: The Golden Army (which he really enjoyed, by the way), and my original intention was to use that "alone time" for some writing, but - well, I was already out, and we should all be conserving gas by combining trips, right?
I spent a good part of the afternoon writing, though - more productive than usual, because I actually closed Google Reader, which is without a doubt my favorite place to procrastinate. I do have a little extension for Firefox (Google Reader Watcher) that keeps up with my unread-feeds count, so I really don't need to keep my Reader tab open all the time. And since that actually did help me get stuff done, I've adopted the same policy at the office (see? new routine!)
Not being churchgoers, our Sunday mornings are open, and we spent this one at the movies, seeing The Dark Knight (review to be posted tomorrow). Afterwards, we had lunch at Octopus, a Japanese-fusion restaurant that we'd only been to once before - and we both ordered different things than we'd had on our first visit, so I think that qualifies as trying to avoid starting a routine/rut. Once we got home, I did have some parts of my weekend routine that I'd been procrastinating about; I did a couple of them, but I'll be honest in telling you I skimped a bit on the housecleaning. If there's anything that feels more rut-like than the chores, I'm not sure what it is.
It's good to tweak the routine, or out-and-out let it slide, sometimes; it gives me a change in perspective, and things usually don't fall apart. Thanks for the nudge, Karen! I'd like to do this more often, but if I make too big a thing out of it, it may become a routine too.
As for the extra credit, I'd play hooky from work for a few days - with no plans at all.
Have you felt like you're in a rut lately? How do you plan to shake up the ol' routine - or do you like it that way?