I recently read an article about the positive things that happen when we try new things. It got me thinking about my own life and I came to the rather quick decision that I was “stuck”. I’ve never stopped to think how my routine rarely changes. During the week, I wake up, eat breakfast (a yogurt and some toast), board the 8:40 a.m. train to Milwaukie, work, board the 2:32 p.m. train to Portland, eat and watch my shows, answer 14 calls from my baby sister, and then go to bed. Occasionally my fiancée and I might go on a walk and I do have a twice monthly doctor’s appointment, but beyond that, I am stuck. I spend the majority of my life doing the same things I’ve already done dozens, hundreds, and thousands of times. Stuck—And cheating myself on all the wonderful things this world has to offer. I am so familiar with my days that I’m now on cruise control. Honestly, I don’t know what I would if a wrench got thrown into my daily routine wheel.
Compared to many, I’ve been rather fortunate. Lived on the east coast, traveled abroad, and been lucky enough to say I’ve at least done those things…..I’m also stuck in my ways. How many times in 2017 did I try a new exotic cuisine? How many times have I said yes to a random weekend road trip? Perhaps as I age, these things seem less and less important when compared to paying bills and making sure I am in bed prior to 10 p.m. But, why?
I’m going to guess and say this “stuck” feeling is completely normal. Most of you have or are experiencing the exact same feeling. What is not normal in my opinion is to keep doing the same thing week after week and year after year. So how do we fix it? Well, for starters, overcoming the initial fear of change is important. Fear is a weird thing. It always seems to be lurking in the background especially when change is in the air. However, our minds are also weird things and typically we over exaggerate things (fear). Like all things, the fear we feel when something is out of the ordinary will always be present, but once we force ourselves to open up to new things, fear will become a less mitigating factor in our lives.
So my challenge to myself and to you is as follows: Say yes more often… and be more open. When something new is staring us in the face, let’s try to brush aside our fear(s), open ourselves up to the idea, and just say yes. If working in the church has taught me anything, it’s that life is way too precious and often too short to feel “stuck”.