Thursday, March 15, 2012

Routine Reality

Routine is a constant reference as to when and where I am. With brain injury one realizes just how fragile our awareness of place and time really is. I can be at the mall with my wife and be looking at something while she walks away. I will look up and suddenly nothing is as I suspected and I will feel this sudden panic as I try to reorient myself, try to find some clue that will tell me where I am and when I am. Not just what time it is, or just what day it is, but what year is it? How old am I? A split second of panic until I regain my perspective.

Routine allows me to compensate for my lack of initiative. I may not notice that the house needs vacuuming, but I know that on Mondays I vacuum. It is good to make lists for many things, but inserting something into my routine allows me to do a number of tasks that would overwhelm me if I saw them all on a list. Routine allows me to be a more effective person.

Most people view routine as boring. “Boring as compared to what?” I ask. “Boring as compared to being confused and inactive?” I query. Variety is very important. Many people are distracted from accomplishing long-term goals because they want immediate variety. I get my variety long-term because routine keeps the distractions at bay. Day by day my routine may seem boring, but I’ve accomplished so very much in the last eleven years since my brain injury! These are things I would never have even considered doing before. In addition to doing all the tasks you might imagine in an ordinary life (I prefer “ordinary” to “normal”) I also run five miles several times a week, I read seventy pages a day, I ran for Lt. Governor in 1994 and 1998, I expect to get the Libertarian party’s nomination for Governor in 2002, I facilitate the Stillwater support group, I speak four languages besides English, and my writing has appeared in a few Libertarian publications as well as in the brain injury newsletter, I designed and built a teaching aid to show the effects of time distortion at relative speeds, I protested the stadium tax increase, and more.

I don’t list all that to brag. I’m certainly no genius and I sure don’t have limitless energy. It just really amazes me how much a person can do if you just put it into a routine and doggedly persist. I don’t question whether or not I want to do something on a daily basis, I just get up and do it. I face each day with child like wonder and boundless curiosity. Oh yes, and as always, I hone my will on adversity.

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