Routine Versus Spontaneity

Nov. 28th, 2016

The words “routine” and “spontaneity” seem to be antonyms. What could be more opposite than “a sequence of actions regularly followed” and “a sudden inner impulse without premeditation”? To me, however, they are not as dissimilar as they first appear.

I have already written about the role routine plays in my life and the benefits I, and others with ADHD, gain when utilizing it. Another benefit is that of freeing me to live in the moment. My routines are the foundation on which I build my life. The “sequence of actions” that make up my routines all contribute in some small but fundamental way to me being able to function, whether at all or optimally. If my bed isn’t made, my dishes washed, my clothes clean and put away, I would not be able to act on any “inner impulse”.

This paradox can be likened to a building. It’s a lot more fun to pick out curtains and paint the trim than it is to plan the basement and hammer together the studs and joists for the walls and floors. However, curtains and trim in the middle of an empty lot gets cold and wet, eventually, and does not allow anyone to have much fun.

Balance, as I’ve said again and again, seems to be the key. Routine allows for spontaneity but neither in isolation create joy. This is the careful union of forces I will continue to strive to achieve.

What allows you to create spontaneous joy?