Routine versus Rut

I was thinking about my “dream versus aspiration” post the other day, duly inspired by both Harold and Maude (I’m still thinking about that movie!!!) and the potential joys of unexpected adventures, and it got me thinking about words that only vary in meaning due to perception. Someone who views him/herself as persistent, might easily been seen by someone else as stubborn. It is exactly the same quality, with very different connotations.

The pairing of words that hold the most weight with me at the moment are routine and rut. Routines are my friend. Ruts are bad. But how to tell which is which?

Several months back, I commented on a post of Karen’s fabulous blog “Waisting Time” where she was talking about how she feels out of sorts when she is out of her routine. My response was:

I’m not alone! I ❤ my routine! I especially love my routine when it is helping me reach my goals. Occasionally I wake up and realize that I’m not in a routine (a positive thing!), but rather a rut, so I struggle out. What is the first thing I do when I break a rut? I create a new routine!

In Medieval Europe, peasants did not take up arms against a bad situation unless they knew that life could be better. It was the realization that it didn’t have to be so hard that spurred action.(Okay, so peasant uprisings weren’t known for being successful, but I had to find a use for my history degree, and I guess making not-quite-right analogies is it!) It is the realization that my habit is not helping me that brings me to action.

I remember years ago I was much heavier than I am now. I would go home from work and watch television the rest of the evening. I ate whatever I wanted, and I was tired all the time. One day I was claiming, yet again, that I was done with being “fluffy” and tired, and I was not going to buy a larger pair of pants! As I was flipping through the channels, I came across an infomercial for Orbitrek, an elliptical with a small footprint.

 My Obitrek

I bought it. Once I finally got one that worked (long story), I actually did use it. I used it a lot! I started at 15 minutes twice a week, and within a couple months I was using it a half hour a day 4-5 days a week. I wore out that Orbitrek (within the warranty period), and they sent me another for free. That replacement was just recently sold during my big Spring Clean since my gym membership had long since taken its place.

It is so counter intuitive, but as I started working out, I had SO much more energy! Working out became the new routine and the previous lifestyle was labeled as a rut.

What is your “I’ve had it” moment that spurred action? Am I the only one willing to admit buying something off an infomercial?

2 thoughts on “Routine versus Rut”

  1. I can’t say I’ve ordered something off an infomercial before, but it sounds like you got a lot of use out of it so it was a good deal. For me, my wake up moment was when I visited my parents during the holidays and realized I had put on a few pounds. I didn’t like that. So the moment I got home I made it a priority to shed that weight. I started going to the gym a few times a week and ran another couple of times every week. That made all the difference in the world and eventually I got into really good shape. By the next time I visited, I was different. And that feeling was good.


    1. Congratulations on being able to follow through with your wake up moment! Even when we get fed up, it is often hard to change behavior. That you felt so much better after you next visit must have been an excellent encouragement to continue.


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