Why routine is important

My diary entries have been infrequent and inconsistent lately. Why? Because I’ve been spending too much time on planes and not enough time on a bike. By itself, that shouldn’t be enough to keep me off-line, but it’s the change from a consistent routine, something I’ve kept for years and years and years, that’s messing me up. My every Tuesday & Thursday-morning bike ride, no-matter-what… the no-matter-what part is a necessity, not an option. It’s an enforced structure that keeps my life in order. Change that structure, alter the routine, and things can go badly in a hurry!

30+ years of doing the same Tuesday-Thursday morning ride, and you’d think it would become monotonous, boring, something I’d want to change. But it’s not; rather, it’s a sort of anchor that holds my week together. A way to break up time into something longer than a day but less than a week; something that establishes a relevancy all my own. Can’t stay up late on a Monday or Wednesday night, because I get up early to ride the next morning.

But without that, with the traveling I’ve done lately, I’ve been staying up late when I shouldn’t, and literally getting quite a bit less sleep. And it’s not likely to get any better anytime soon; I type this on a plane heading first to Chicago, then on to Paris. 7 days in Normandy & Paris, seeing Mont Saint Michel, the D-Day landing beaches, Loire Valley castles (OK, it’s in France, so they’re “Chateauxs”) and then a couple days slumming around Paris. This (aside from the D-Day stuff) is obviously not my normal trip; no bicycling involved! It’s stuff my wife has wanted to see for years, so the absurdity of traveling to France in July and then again in August sort of makes sense. But it’s going to do a real number of routine and sleep. Strange, that. Most would think you would sleep more while on vacation; I sleep less.

I said no bicycling on this trip, but that may not end up being entirely truthful. If the opportunity to rent a bike and go on a morning ride while my wife is sleeping presents itself, it just might happen. After all, the Loire Valley is littered with bike paths! No challenging climbs, no heart monitor, and probably a pretty klunky bike. But if I can get out for even an hour, it might help me to resume some sense of normalcy. –Mike–

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