As I see it, there are two ways to be a Creature of Habit: through your big lifestyle choices, and through your everyday routines. Today I will focus on the big stuff, and tomorrow on the little stuff!
First up are your huge life choices – such as education, careers, relocations, partnering and child-rearing. Each of those can involve big risks. More often, a slow accumulation of choices eventually becomes your life! But no matter how many leaps you take into the unknown, The Everyday catches up with you.
So where does your caution-versus-risk ratio start? First, with temperament: are you a drama queen? A bean-counter in training? Next, with encouragement: were you nudged toward new goals, or held back with an iron fist (or worse yet, tears?) Is your life on a plateau right now? Are you climbing or coasting? Expecting changes or avoiding them?
I have always loved order and symmetry and anticipating the comforts of the known. My idea of discovery is finding out something new from a book or a phone call or out on a walk…not quitting my job at the spur of the moment to spend 6 months in Thailand!
Dar = spontaneous and unpredictable: I think not!
For me, a risk might be starting a new job, bringing home a new kitten, or, harkening back to 2008, marrying someone from the UK that I met online 🙂 In between these Big Leaps, I am a mild-mannered librarian. I don’t expect to be facing any major changes for a while, so I am coasting. While it lasts.
What is your Stodge Factor? I think mine is 10.
Here are the things that make me boring. This may even be an abbreviated list. Maybe my stodginess goes to ELEVEN!
- I work 9 to 5.
- I’m married.
- I own a house.
- I have to take care of a yard and two pets.
- I visit my parents and other relatives regularly.
- My idea of entertainment is reading books and watching movies.
- I keep my house both clean and organized.
- I wear a lot of black, brown and grey clothes.
- I bring lunch to work every day and cook dinner every night.
- If I try to watch TV, I fall asleep.
I didn’t end up like this by default, but by choice. Because I didn’t want this life:
- Every time my contract job ends, I shlep around to find another, and put off paying bills for a while.
- I’m single, because I want to keep my options open. I don’t get too attached to anyone, because I might be closing the door on someone I haven’t met yet.
- I like my apartment but I have to be home on Wednesday nights because that’s my assigned time slot for the laundry room.
- My house plants keep dying. I had to give my cat away because I’m never home after work.
- I drifted away from my family after I left home.
- My idea of entertainment is karaoke on the weekends, and bungee-jumping in New Zealand whenever I can afford it.
- My place is a wreck, but who cares – I’m never home!
- I spend half my income on my wardrobe, because I like to be seen.
- I order in and eat out as much as possible because cooking is so tedious; plus, everything I buy just spoils before I have time to cook it.
- I fall asleep with my laptop in bed at 4 a.m.
Which life would you prefer? I will take stodgy any day! Or rather, I think the second life is stodgy. It’s just cool stodgy.
On a more serious note, I think it comes down to what is more important to each person, freedom FROM or freedom TO. The greater focus might be on avoiding commitments or on keeping commitments – both of which can be very important at different times in your life.
Stay tuned tomorrow for Part 2: Stodge Around the Clock! (How many things do you do at the same time every day? Let’s count and see!)