The Rut

Many years ago, I had a very good friend who believed on one very simple aspect that made, what he thought, Life very easily managed when one is at home: “The Rut is Our Friend.”

See, when you live in a rut, your schedule, per se, is always the same. You aren’t surprised by what happens because you do the same thing, the same way, all the time, every day of the week, month and year of your life. When there are no variables, there are no surprises, no upsets, no pain, but at the same time, no discovery, no opportunity for change and no chance for growth.

I used to joke with my friend with a riddle and it went something like this: What is the difference between living in a rut and a grave? Answer. The depth.

There was another saying that my friend used to espouse whenever he went on vacation and that phrase was: “Never Get Off The Boat.” And the reason he use to say that was that as a man who has traveled the world himself, he has found that if you are on a boat that has everything you could possibly want on it, i.e. an open bar and an unlimited amount and variety of food, why would you want to get off the boat, to go to a country/island where you don’t speak the language, can’t drink the water, are unsure about their sanitary conditions when it comes to the food they serve, are not governed by the same laws that you abide by in the United States, where you run a greater risk of getting accosted by one of the locals or corrupt local cops and you end up in jail or paying a bribe to avoid said incarceration in the first place. And all because you are a very tall, and very Caucasian looking American.

Again, as my friend would say, “Never Get Off The Boat.”

I brought these sayings up from my friend as a kind of wake up call for us all. We all have busy lives and schedules that we must keep in order to have some sort of balance in our lives. We have certain ways we do things every day in order to keep our lives as stress-free and efficient as possible. And, for the most part, that is a good thing.

Structure is very important in our lives. For without the discipline of mind to continue to do things that work that make our lives “easier”, we will have nothing more than randomness on an extreme scale, or, as I like to think about, Alice in Wonderland on steroids.

But when we let structure take over, we, as previously mentioned, fall into a rut. We become stagnant and do not grow. We do the same thing, the same way all the time because we do not want to explore the options of “what if” because we do not want to deal with the consequences of the results that could make our lives either better or more complicated.

And yet, we are all guilty of that very same thing. Yet, I honestly don’t think we consciously get into a rut on purpose. I believe that circumstances can dictate our actions in order for us to start repeating particular patterns in our lives.

Allow me to explain.

We all get up in the morning (unless you are a Vampire, then your day starts after dark) and we get dressed to get ready to go to work/school/whatever you do during the time you are away from your humble abode. You spend the majority of the day at work/school/wherever doing the best work you can do. So much so that when you get off work, you are too tired to think about anything else except going home, having something easy to make and eat for dinner because you are too tired to do anything that is remotely culinary new in the kitchen, plop yourself down in your most comfy chair, turn on the TV for a while then head off to bed. Then the process starts all over again tomorrow.

Why do we do that? Because I believe that we are all too tired to do anything else. When we get home, we don’t want to be bothered by anyone asking us for anything or to do anything, including ourselves, that require effort on our parts. We just want to be left alone to rest and recharge our mental and physical batteries. It’s like Newton’s First Law of Motion – sometimes referred to as The Law of Inertia which states: “An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.

Right now, the way we are living, if you are living in The Rut, is that our lives are an object that is staying at rest. We need to get motion in our lives if we really want to change things. Because, I’m telling you right now if you are living in The Rut, you, my friend, are not living. You are existing.

Trust me on this, I know from experience because I am guilty of this too. I come home from work and instead of spending time working on my book or even my blog, I do what I have to do in order to get ready for the next day (make my lunch for work) which is a good thing. But then I blow it by rushing through dinner and plopping myself down in my recliner just to watch something on Netflix or Amazon until its time for bed.

Change is not easy. In fact, change is hard. It requires effort. It requires discipline. It also requires sacrifice. But Change is also needed if you want to make a difference in your life. Want a chance to move up in your job, but you work full time? How about taking classes at night or online to get that degree? Want to meet new people or maybe find someone to have a long-term/permanent relationship with? Well, you won’t find them in your living room. You have to get up, clean up, make yourself look presentable and go out there when the people are. It’s like fishing, you have to go to where the fish are in order to catch fish.

Whatever it is you want to do with your life, you have to make changes and adjustments in order to accomplish those goals. Yes, it’s scary. But when you do break out of the mold of being in The Rut or Never Getting Off The Boat, you will find a new and exciting world out there just waiting for you to come check it out.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled life…already in progress.

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