It’s Sunday morning in a moderately paced suburb. An overcast sky bleeds sunshine through the veins of the clouds. Two men work on a rundown building across the street, the rhythm of their hammers against the window frames some of the only noise other than the passing cars, the screeching of worn out brakes. One of the men stands on a small scaffold, the other handing him tools.
Somewhere in the distance children are yelling, perhaps at the small playground which consists of a few swings and slides with a concrete landing. The birds chirp as the church crowd makes its way toward lunch. The hammering stops some hour later, the crew must be doing the same. The bagel shop next door to the crumbling building will be open for another two and a half hours. Sunday is slow down day.
About an hour later, the work continues. A saw whines as the man on the ground cuts pieces to replace old wood. The boarded up windows now have intact moldings. The two men have successfully torn away the rotten planks surrounding them. It’s funny how humankind constantly tears things down to rebuild them in much the same fashion, refurbished, open under new management.
The rule of routine. Beginning, middle, end. Then do it all over again.
Humanity seems to have been stuck with this rule ingrained in our very making. We create routine in every aspect of our life: work, relationships, even vacations which in themselves are meant to be spontaneous. There does not seem to be anything that escapes it. It is as if routine is a part of a natural defense mechanism. This wall of schedules we put up to block out the reality of life and death that we wish to ignore. If there are things that we can convince ourselves that we “must” get back to, then it is easier for us to get over these devastating losses. Easier still to forget that this routine does not actually create any sense of meaning.
Meaning. Humans are constantly asking why and avoiding finding the answer.
My advice is simply this: Step outside your routine. Stop hiding in the task list that other people have made for you. Even if the answer does not come quickly, keep searching.