This weekend my mom took Noe overnight, which, bless her heart, she likes to do every few weeks. That 24 hours is great for everyone. We get a little time to check off some to-do list items and Noe and Grandma get one on one time. What I love about these free weekends is that it also gives Michael and I a chance to shake up our normal routine. When you have a child your life can become very routine driven. So, when I have a chance to step out of that rhythm, I’m able get a little perspective, and I’ve come to the conclusion that shaking up your routine makes you a better human.
Sunday morning, with our 24 hours of baby-freedom, we made our way into San Francisco with a loose plan. We knew we wanted to workout and had a general idea of our direction. But we didn’t get too bogged down in the details. We ended up winding and weaving through trails in the Presidio and sort of winging it. Not worrying about getting lost or backtracking, both of which we did several times.
We ran further than we probably ever have together, enjoyed uninterrupted adult conversation and some periods of quiet. As we came out of the woods we both felt refreshed and at ease. That’s when Michael said something that I was already feeling, “this is what we should do any time we feel uninspired or stuck.” He was referring to coming into the city but I think it’s poignant for just about anything.
Routines are awesome. In fact, I think they are paramount for creating habits, getting up earlier to workout, raising happy babies. But day in, day out, routine can also make life feel a little lackluster. Doing new things, exploring new places, taking up a new skill, gives your mind permission to work in different ways.
After our run we were full of ideas, we were inspired to try new hikes, bring the baby back into San Francisco next weekend, make new meals, finish up projects that have been lingering, run a race, our the list went on and on. We felt more connected because we had just accomplished something together, we were listening to each other better and playing off one another’s brainstorms. Of course, this happens at home too but not with the kind of energy we had on Sunday.
Shaking up your routine, being in a new environment, tackling something in a different way, can be an incredible tool for personal growth, creativity and productivity. But more importantly, I believe it is an amazing tool for increasing happiness. So if you’re feeling uninspired or stuck, try shaking up your routine. You might just become a better parent, partner, friend, human.
Today’s Makings Of Small Step: Pick one part of your daily routine that can help you find a different perspective.