The funny thing about moving across the country is that everything and nothing changes at the same time. Suddenly I’m in New York City, where anything is possible and yet, half my life stays exactly the same: Work, cleaning, bills, laundry. But the possibilities still seem endless! Bagels at 3am? Done. Dancing under the Empire State Building in the snow? Do it. Brunch followed by more brunch in Central Park? You can have it all because you’re unbreakable!
But at the same time, laundry is still calling, bills are still finding their way under the door, and the Target to-do list isn’t going to magically complete itself. This has become one of my biggest challenges since moving here: To routine or not to routine, that’s the question.
For me, the girl who makes a to-do list every night before she goes to bed, a routine counter balances the constant newness of New York City. When I make it to work early, followed by a yoga class right after. When I’m able to go home and cook for myself, play with some kittens, and then finish an article on time. These things instantly make me feel like an accomplished human at the end of the day because they’re easily manageable compared to the enormous, and seemingly impossible, goal of making New York feel like home.
But at times, I realize how not having a plan might end up being the best plan at all. That sometimes, the best thing I can do for myself is take a big breath and explore something off the beaten path. To enjoy the moments that are not controlled by an impending deadline or have any other purpose than to make me extremely happy.
Like tuning a timpani, this routine vs. no routine, is a fine balance I haven’t yet mastered. I love routine for a few days and then the need to try something completely different becomes a craving that continues to grow until it’s satisfied. Walking around New York with no destination, going to a movie I’ve been wanting to see, inviting people to drinks, and saying yes to nearly all invitations (and NOT calling my mum freaking out I’ll be in a new group and they’ll all think I’m weird) — those are all things I want more of.
So here’s to having more adventures, to breaking my routine without guilt, and pushing myself to try everything that excites me.
And here’s to also doing laundry more often, because I’ll be the first to tell you, bathing suit bottoms can only substitute for underwear for so long.