Week 25 of 'The Great Wake Up!'
My days tend to be almost identical. During the week I get up at the same time each morning, I follow the same routine to get myself ready for work, I get on the same bus to go to work (often heading towards the same seat on the bus if it's free) and I sit at the same desk each day.
When I think about it, even things like what I eat for lunch and the times I get up from my desk to visit the toilet are the same. Even as I write this I can feel myself becoming slightly embarrassed at this realisation. I thought I was so much more interesting than that!
And then it all happens again at the end of the day. I leave work, get the same bus back, have my usual cup of tea when I get home, have my dinner at the same time etc etc. You get the picture.
So this week's experiment of changing my usual daily route was an interesting one. At first glance, it seemed like quite a simple thing to do. Given I had several daily routines, I thought there would be lots to choose from.
But when I looked at the routes I took each day, I realised there was less flexibility than I thought. I rely on public transport to get to work - a bus which travels along the same route each day. That wasn't something I had any influence over. Which was somewhat of a relief to discover because perhaps I wasn't so boring after all. It wasn't me, it was the bus!
Instead I decided to take a different route at the other end of my bus journey. Rather than walking the same way from the bus stop to my office, I would get off the bus and turn left instead of turning right and see where that took me. To be fair, it didn't make a huge difference in time, although it was possibly a little longer. But what I discovered was that it was so much more pleasant. It was quieter, there were less people, it took me past some lovely buildings rather than the busy train station I normally go past which is always difficult to navigate with the amount of people going in and out.
This new way was completely the opposite - it just felt calmer, which was exactly what I needed at the start of a long working day in the office. It felt brighter too which sounds strange but because the streets were wider and the buildings lighter in colour, the sun seemed to be able to get through more.
The experiment has helped me discover how comfortable I had become with my routines (a bit too comfortable!), and that making a small change to this can make a really positive difference. For me it just helped start the day a little more calmly and I came to like it so much that it's now a route that I am going to start taking regularly.