Releasing my death grip on routine.

I have this “thing” about routine.

I hate veering from it.

A routine I’ve ingrained in myself for the past two years, built from scratch as I picked up the pieces and figured out what I wanted my daily life to look like. It goes something like this: wake up at the ass crack of dawn, work out, go to work, and once in awhile do a second work out at my gym (sometimes. I just like to do a little extra here and there. It’s one of my “things” you’ll soon learn about me. My love of working out. Something about a daily sweatfest that makes me feel balanced).

So when I met M (on, for those of you “new” to my story) in September, things progressed relatively quickly in that we began seeing each other exclusively after just a few dates and the rest, as they say, is history. (I’ll do a recap on him and our last few months together soon.)


Kinda out the window.

Which is to be expected, but as we progress down the path of wanting to see each other often (most weekends, 1-2 times per week), I struggle with the balance between seeing him and keeping to my routine.

But why do I *have* to keep to my routine? Why not include him in it?

I do, mostly, but sometimes, when it comes down to seeing him, or fitting in a missed workout, for example, I struggle. I want to see him, and can likely do both, but then a) either he sees me looking crappy post workout (even if I shower, my hair will be less than fabulous and let’s be honest, I want to look good for my man and for me, too!) or b) I redo myself after my workout, which isn’t always a possibility before he arrives.

Why do I even agonize over this? It should be a no-brainer! I can do both, or I can skip a workout to see him, right? (my sister even pointed it out “so, what’s the question? you want to see your boyfriend right? So see him!” Um, duh, yes, of course!).

I know I can. Either option is just that – an option. But part of my problem is that I just can’t get away from routine. And that’s just one example.

I actually opted not to have breakfast with M after I stayed over and we went running together, because I was stressed about getting home and cleaning and doing my Saturday “routine!”

Seriously? Who does that?

He, being the most reasonable man on the planet, as far as I’m concerned, understood (though attempted to get me to stay, and how did I resist? I mean, really…that routine has me hooked, clearly). When I sheepishly texted him when I got home telling him I felt silly and wish I stayed, he said he understood, but that sometimes it’s okay to de-routine.

He’s right.

It is.

It’s one of the things I’m working hard on, because when my opportunities to see him become limited when I start my new job (with a lot of travel at the outset), I will be kicking myself for not taking the opportunities when I have them.

Why does routine sometimes have such a death grip on me? Why not release it? Why not allow him to join me in it? Because everything with him – and I mean, everything – is way more fun with him than alone (well that sounds awfully dirty but perhaps it’s meant to. You be the judge).

…and when we tested out Skype the other night since we’ll use it when I’m traveling, I just looked at his face and wanted to jump through the screen and hug and kiss him. His smile, his eyes, his gaze. Just him. *swoon*


PS – check out my new blog layout, thanks to the oh-so-awesome IntrigueMe – thank you friend, it looks fabulous!)

42 thoughts on “Releasing my death grip on routine.

    1. Doesn’t it?! It is hard to get out of routine, and slowly, I’m releasing it, but damn, it takes major adjusting! More than I thought!

      1. I’m with Soccer Mom. It will take some time and adjustment, but the more time you spend with him, the more it will fall into place. You’ll have more time with M, but you’ll still keep the things you love about your current routine. xoxo

  1. OMG I love my routine. It makes me feel grounded and productive and I get all flummoxed when I can’t do it.

    And yet.

    Life does not give one shit about my routine. I think the key to staying balanced and grounded is not a routine… but learning how to keep all the things you need going, when life happens.

    To quote a book I had a love-hate relationship with a movie I despised: “To lose balance sometimes for love is part of living a balanced life.”

    1. Flummoxed! YES, that is exactly how I feel. But you are so right, life doesn’t give a shit about MY routine! And the quote at the end totally sums it up. Thank you!

  2. Isn’t it ironic, that following the failure of a major relationship or marriage, you struggle to develop your independence and build a life for yourself… And then, fast forward a couple years and it feels damn near impossible to open back up again? Because, really, what you are talking about isn’t about working out, or cleaning, etc etc. It is about loosening your “grip” on this routine that you built for yourself to recover the sense of stability and security that was lost when the rug got ripped out from underneath you. It’s about control. And essentially, messing with the routine is a necessary step (the next step) toward moving forward. And since you are one of the people I know that is best at adapting and marching forward positively, I have no doubt that you will figure this one out too. 🙂

    1. wow, are you in my brain or what? you totally wrote what I was trying to say. Want to be my blog writer? 😉 It’s true, it’s control, it’s my type A-ness, and it’s adapting to something new that I haven’t had in YEARS. I’ll adjust, you know me too well, already 🙂

      1. Ditto what Marisa said. I wasn’t ever into such a routine before the EX. But trying to move past him forced me into one. I needed control and to find ways to make ME happy. Now it’s so hard to give up… It’s even caused the demise of one relationship. But he must not have been the right one! Love your new blog. How do I get IntrigueMe to make mine just as pretty? 🙂

      2. It is hard to give up, isn’t it? And I guess it’s not so much giving it up, just finding ways to integrate the “me” time with the “us” time. Ya know? Isn’t the background gorgeous?! She did a great job, and I’m sure with some sucking up, she’ll help you too (just kidding!)

  3. First of all…great layout. Love

    Second…I have a routine. It is the same. Everday. I love it. It loves me. I think part of why I am hesitant to date again is that I don’t know how to fit someone in this life that I rebuilt.

    The fact that you question what is better – fitting him in or sticking to it and sacrificing – tells me you know that he is worth it and you are going to bend. And that is okay.

    It will be a new routine.

    1. Ahh, yes!! You are so right. It will be a new routine, I know, I just have to let myself take the time to adjust. It’s a new way of thinking and he’s so worth it. In the past, I haven’t wanted to adjust, which tells you something (red flag!), but in this case, he’s so worth it, that I just want to!

  4. The blog background is GLORIOUS! Love it!

    And you do realize that with your new job, your routine is going to change too, right?

    Oh and Marisa is onto something…

    1. Isn’t it beautiful! I love it! And yea, I know, my new job is going to throw my routine out the window like whoa…don’t remind me 😉 But yes, it’s true, and a whole new thing I need to adjust to, too. 2011 is going to start off with a bang! Marisa is definitely on to something…

  5. I immediately noticed the new layout…love love love it!

    It was soo hard letting go of my routine. In fact, since I moved in November closer to my job (and farther away from him), I’ve not seen him as much. I fell right back into my routine, as happy as a clam…is that bad? No! I think I’d gone to far in the other direction and was only loosely planning things to be available whenever he wanted to hang out. The balance is so hard. It feels wonderful to have my me time, and it makes it even more special when I get to see him. You’ll find your balance soon! 😀

    1. Yes, the balance is key – to have ‘me’ time too. It takes time and some patience, and I am not the most patient, but I am trying 🙂 sounds like you are too!

  6. Whoa! That background jumped out at me! Now you’re messing with MY blogging routine! 🙂

    Anyway, I think I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again: I don’t know why you’re so down on routine. We are creatures of habit. For me, I notice that when I get OUT of my routine, I’m not as healthy or happy. I’m more likely to do things that are bad for me. Routine is good. It keeps us grounded and centered. Don’t hate on it.

    The trick is to work M into your routine. Make him part of it. Right now I think you’re just struggling with that transition. He should understand (and I think he does) that your routine is important to you. And, obviously, you don’t want to be so stuck on your routine that you can’t be spontaneous on occasion or react during a crisis. There will always be exceptions to your routine.

    But the routine itself is not a bad thing. Don’t beat yourself up for having one. Be who you are.

    1. Ha! I changed the layout JUST to mess with your blogging routine! 😉 Just kidding. But you are right, you HAVE said that to me before, and you’re right, it’s not the routine I need to change per se, just letting him in more. And if that means he sees me at my worst, then so be it (it has to happen eventually, right?!) Signed, not knocking routine. 😉

  7. Love the new layout! I can so relate to throwing off the routine. I was religiously working out 3 days a week (total of 4.5 hours). I did not work out once this week!!! And the past few weeks it has been 1 or 2 times. My whole groove is thrown off. Actually, though, I don’t think my new relationship is to blame. I think it is more being distracted by this divorce. BTW, did you know Christmas is in a few days?!! WTF?! I had no idea. Who plans this stuff?!!

  8. routine, order, planning… all of these things make me happy. i hate diversions from it, unless they’re planned diversions like the one i’m on right now.

    but it’s funny – the man does have his way of sneaking in and upsetting everything, even when we’re separated by 1500 miles like we are right now. i’m on an amazing vacation… but i’m sleeping in his t-shirt, missing the hell out of him. sigh.

    breaking routine is a good thing. it’s just hard to remember that sometimes. that’s another thing the man helps me get past.

    (and i LOVE the background!)

    1. ah, yes, PLANNED diversions are the best, aren’t they? I am glad that you are adjusting to breaking from routine too and of course, wearing your man’s t-shirt is just a great reminder of him! It is hard to remember that sometimes routine breakage is good!

  9. Finding balance and a “new normal” when something major in your life changes is always a challenge. You’ll get there. You need to decide your priorities and figure out how to make it work. And most importantly? Be willing to be a little flexible!! 😉

    1. Wow, did you read my mind, or what? I was totally thinking of a post about the “new normal” as a follow on to this, which I will probably do soon. Too funny. Being flexible is what I need to do more of, less rigidity with it. There is always time for routine but there is just as much time, if not more, for compromise, too!

  10. love the new blog layout, are they snow flakes? I like the orange vibrancy as well. I know what it’s like with routines, I pretty much have my own set routine and keep to it and like to fit in my workouts at a certain time etc and when my man arrives, I want to look good too and not see him after I workout when I’m all sweaty.

    1. Right! I want to look good too! But, eventually, as things progress, it’ll happen and he’ll see me in all my sweaty glory 😉 he has already, anyway, so I don’t know what I fret! Glad you like the new layout! The snowflakes are something WordPress offered to bloggers until Jan 4. Cute right?

  11. Ugh, I hear you on the routine thing. Sometimes you can be so tied to it that you miss out on living. I say workout but who cares if you’re a mess after – at this point he obviously doesn’t care right???? I think you’ve done pretty good about starting to let go of your death grip on routine. I mean, obviously hanging tight still, but not AS tight 😉

    1. Haha, yeah, I am hanging tight, but loosening the grip 😉 He has seen me that way, but usually then we shower and I look better after! I’d just rather fast forward through the looking crappy part. Ah, vanity, sometimes…!

  12. I’m jealous of your blog layout. Can you blog friend do mine next??? I’m good for it 😉

    And you know I’m right there with you on the routine thing but have tried to loosen up a bit with mine which trust me, takes lots of practice!

    Here’s the thing -you “discovered” a new routine after your divorce so why not re-discover a new routine now that M is in your life? Nothing wrong with that, and nothing wrong with routine as long as you know how to “live” a little too. Which I know you are fully capable of 😉

    1. I know, you’re right, I need to switch it up and be willing to re-discover. It’s just so amazing how “used to” the routine I built for myself just two short years ago has become. Who knew?! (and I am sure IntrigueMe would do your blog too, if you’re nice. JK)

  13. Well first of all, I’m glad everyone loves the layout because it’s pretty bold and really could have gone either way.

    And second… T brought up a very good point when she mentioned your routine is going to change with this new job. You’re going to be working from home so that will cut out driving time, so perhaps you can have your workouts and THEN get ready for the day and then see M. Just re-arrange things a little? You could even opt for mid-day workouts since you won’t be in an office anymore and let’s face it, you will likely need some time out of the house throughout the day.

    Also, I think this really all depends on that thing you love, PERSPECTIVE. I think you need to look at it as creating a new routine with M included as opposed to skipping your routine/messing with it some days.

    For example, the breakfast situation: Why not make the Saturday morning run and then cooking breakfast together part of your Saturday routine… do those things together every Saturday morning and then continue home to do the rest of your routine.

    In the new year, wipe the “routine” slate clean. Consider your new job and M, and create a new routine that works with your new life.

      1. IntrigueMe and City Girl – wow, totally agree, that’s actually a great way of looking at it. You are so smahhht IntrigueMe! In fact, I think I will make that one of my New Year’s resolutions. Wipe the routine slate clean. Bring it!!

  14. Finally catching up – and adding your new blog to my reader! – and just had a thought for you. I think while you’re in this new want-to-see-him-all-the-time phase, it’s okay to skip a workout or two…and later on, when you don’t care as much how he sees you looking, you can make a new, even better routine! I know that I don’t have the discipline that you do…but life is so short, and I’d pick time with my man over a workout anyday! 😉

    1. thank you friend! You are right, I just need to embrace it and realize sometimes compromise on my part is something I can contend with and build a new routine as time progresses. I think we are more in sync with routines and such now, too, so as each day passes, it gets easier 🙂 XO!

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