I am fairly certain that my level of introversion could be considered reclusiveness. I leave my house all of four times all week – grocery shopping, trip to the park, possibly church and eating out. On the rare occasion I do any of these things without small people in tow, I find it to be the most liberating feeling.

Today, I went to the doctor. Just a routine check up to get my medications refilled. I felt like a grown up. While out, I intermittently desired to keep doing grown up things like getting a haircut or manicure, visiting the eye doctor or going to a hardware store. I have no idea why the hardware store always makes me feel grown up, but it does. DIY does that to you, I suppose.

I’m not really sure what my point here is, but I wanted to share my experience. It felt so good!  Maybe that’s the merit of routine breaking – it feels good. I want to search for this more in my life, this feeling that is interlaced with freedom. Of course, routine breaking also requires having a routine.

There is much work to be done.

Also, how do you schedule routine breaking? Isn’t that simply routine making?

Maybe it’s a need for adventure more than a need for routine breaking, though I’d hardly call visiting my family doctor an adventure. Just getting out and doing something out of the ordinary can be an adventure though. Visiting a new-to-me park, trying a new-to-me ethnic food, going to an art museum or a concert – these are some of the things that make my daily routine grounding instead of suffocating. My home cooking becomes comforting instead of bland.

For me, a natural recluse, too much of my life is spent in the routine. I wonder, though, if it is this way for other people. I see people on social media post amazing things that they’ve done or tried and I think, “Wow, that looks amazing!” Meanwhile, I’m posting about my cat or my baby’s new found ability to color on walls. Comparison is the thief of joy.

I think, though, that comparison could also be the thing that triggers our expansion. I think I need to be careful when I find myself comparing. It’s important to really dig deep and discover if, perhaps, my reaction to the comparison isn’t telling me far more than, “I’m not good enough.” I have this niggling feeling that sometimes comparison might just be desire. I see in someone an adventurous spirit or sense of creativity. As I hold it up to the portrait of myself, I discover my reflection is different – not less. Perhaps, I want different. Perhaps, I want change for myself.

Different – not less.

Its the hallmark quote from many parents with kids who have disabilities. I hear it non-stop in my autism mother’s support group.

It actually annoys me quite a bit.

Probably because sometimes different feels like less. When I hear your nine year old boy reading or working on his multiplication facts, I turn and look at my son who is nigh to mute and trying to learn to place the letter’s of his name in the correct order. It is easy to feel less when knowledge and growth are the metric.

Perhaps metrics are exactly the problem.

I define myself as  introverted to the point of reclusion, but that is only a subjective metric I’ve established somewhere in the reaches of my consciousness. I define new and different experiences as adventurous. Maybe if I did something new or different everyday, then my definition of adventure would need to change.

Maybe when I find myself comparing or assigning attributes to things, it’s a sign to pause, as I said before. Investigate the metric, determine the desire and then decide if change is in the future.

Today, I felt grown up, because I went to the doctor and got out of the house. Perhaps its very simple. I want more feelings of control and responsibility. What can I do to make that happen? And maybe all of the internal dialogue about comparison and “different not less” are things which need to go.

But not necessarily.

Because I’m trying something new these days, which is abandoning the absolutes, embracing flexibility. Perhaps all that is needed to gain more control?

Is to let go.



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