Lately I feel like a new person. At work I have a new office, a new colleague and (better yet!) a medical assistant. It all contributes to a sense of having a new chapter in life. I am getting into shape. At home I am working on a few new things, all which contribute to a sense of freshness. There is nothing like a new frock to brighten up the day, is there?
The novelty is balanced by routine, and my life is mostly routine. I walk the dog at 530AM, I exercise on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturday mornings. I am in certain offices on certain days etc. Even my daily diet is status quo. This weekend is our annual trek to Flagstaff, which we do every June.
I have the pleasure of the thrill of novelty combined with the joy of constancy. This is a paradox, but well worth pursuing.
This balance – and the contentment thereof – is a challenge.
Humans have a love/hate relationship with the routine. While they long for ‘stability’ they get easily bored and restless if Life ‘feels stagnant’. Often this leads to greater and more expensive/foolish/hazardous novelties. This is sometimes called “The Horror of the Same Old Thing”.
There are certain parts of the brain which release the neurotransmitter dopamine. When this happens, we get a ‘Yeah!” feeling, a sense of euphoria. In clinical depression or melancholia this is missing. Depressed people sometimes go to extremes to regain a sense of ‘yeah!”. Sometimes this involves drugs, or doing something reckless or “naughty” in the hopes it will recreate the ‘yeah!”.This works but it does not last; more is are required.
There is also the issue of being conned into believing regularity and contentment therewith means something is wrong. Advertising and the fashion industry both rely on trying to convince you what you have isn’t good enough and you would feel better if you did something else or more etc.
I forget where I am going with this. I suppose it is to remind you it is okay to feel ‘yeah’ in the routine in the mundane. If the ‘yeah!” is missing in your life, look for it in the simple things, not in false products.