Recently I found myself thinking about things I’ve done over and over again, even when there were other choices. For instance, Rom and I visit his parents in Sussex every year, and we spend time in London and Brighton. His family lives halfway in between. There are lots of reasons – convenience, enjoyment, so many things to do – but it has become a relaxing habit, as opposed to planning a visit to a new place. We have gone to Stonehenge and Stratford together, and a weekend in Paris, and we have a list of future trips, but London and Brighton keep calling: Come back! You know you want us!
I travelled to family reunions within Canada every year for 10+ years and I still prefer doing that as opposed to spending my travel budget on new locations. Maybe having that long-standing tradition has affected my whole outlook toward travel. I also lived away from my extended family for 15 years, so being able to see family is my #1 priority.
My area has lots of festivals that I go to every year: Canada Day, Natal Day (civic holiday), Buskers Festival, Tall Ships Regatta, Film Festival, Fringe Festival, Pop Explosion and more. Plus there are always theatre and symphony subscription series.
My UU church has lots of annual events and so does my parents’ church, and I go to them all.
I don’t always seek out what’s new. This week I saw Tegan and Sara in concert for the third time! They are my favourite musical act. Other bands I’ve seen at least 3 times are Billy Talent, Cancer Bats, and Owen Pallett (ex-Final Fantasy) – all Canadian – and Def Leppard 😊 I’ve seen countless bands twice.
The movie I’ve seen most often is The Lion King, which Link watched 40+ times as a young tyke. I love the musical and know the whole soundtrack. On my own (adult) time, my most-watched movie is Rocky Horror Picture Show which I re-watch every Hallowe’en. I can sing the entire show, and have seen a stage production, too.
When I was about 12, I read Judy Blume’s book Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret on repeat for about a year. It’s a book about puberty and friendships among girls, but I liked the family and religious angles. I think I read it 17 times. I must have found it reassuring. As an adult, I read M. Scott Peck’s book The Road Less Traveled several times during difficult stages of my life. I still retain lessons from it. But the last time I read it, I found it insufferable, so my endless loop on that one has ceased. Maybe it comes from being happy now!
During another tough time in my life, I watched sit-coms on TV every day: The Simpsons and Roseanne. I don’t have cable TV now and don’t watch any sitcoms except on DVD: Big Bang Theory, Portlandia and Flight of the Conchords. Still pleasant escapes!
I like a mix of new restaurants and old favourites. Rom and I have been to the local veggie spots many times over, and we always try out new places that have good vegetarian choices such as Turkish, Persian and Thai. When we just want to get out of the house and not cook, we go to our local Greek and never get tired of it.
I do a lot of other things on repeat because they are time-saving routines: making many of the same meals in rotation, prepping salads for weekday lunches, and so on.
Some things I do on repeat because they have to be done at certain times of the year, like planting bulbs or putting up the Christmas tree.
Recently I read a great explanation of why the years seem to pass by more quickly as we get older: when you are 10 years old, a year is one-tenth of your life. When you are 50 years old, a year is one-fiftieth of your life. There are so many things we do repeatedly that it all becomes a blur. That doesn’t concern me – it seems natural. If I had to re-invent my life every day, it would be terribly inefficient 🙂
What are your big repeats – vacations, books, movies, shows?
See also: ALL of Them