This week my kids went back to school, and despite the fact that the temp was still in the 90s, this event always seems to signal the end of summer–or at least summer-like life.
For the past few months we’ve enjoyed lots of outdoor fun: tubing the river, camping, yoga on the riverbank, late-night bon fires (requisite s’mores included), and of course I was loving the added benefit of getting to sleep in a bit more.
Now, all that is over, making way for early a.m. alarms, homework-filled evenings, school activities, and a much more scheduled existence.
I suppose it’s good for us. At least that’s what everyone keeps saying: how getting back into a routine is a real relief. But I always kinda like the routine of no routine–seems to suit me better than rote and ritual.
There’s a sense of adventure to the day when you’re not sure where you may end up going, who you’ll meet up with, or what, exactly, you may end up doing.
I still have vivid memories of being very young (young enough to still be in footie pajamas) and waking up with an absolutely uncontainable excitement for the day ahead. I know many people who remember, as a child, experiencing that same deep-planted joy to just be alive and part of the world.
I have to wonder now, what happened to that exuberance? What is it in life that buffs away the sharp edges of our curiosity and dulls our senses to the wonders that most certainly still exist around us?
The only answer I have is, fatigue. We get worn down by our responsibilities, duties, expectations, jobs, pressures, bills, attention to goals. The list of all the things that require our effort to construct, contain and maintain is varied and endless.
Maybe routine is the cat’s meow like everyone says. And I suppose it keeps the banks open, the lights on and the military happy.
But I think it’s worth a pause to consider the price we pay for our efforts in trying to impose so much structure and regimented scheduling.
The world is an inherently and wonderfully unwieldy place.
We knew that once. And for that reason alone, we loved it.
Look around. The world hasn’t changed.