We get into ruts – doing the same thing, going to the same places, seeing the same people. There is a lot to be said for the beauty of routine. But there is beauty and joy to be found in doing the unusual or unexpected as well.
My usual routine over a weekend, even a long one, is simple. I do the chores that have built up and get in some reading. I may prep food for the week and go out to see a movie. But that’s about it. Pretty boring actually, but relaxing.
Occasionally, I break the pattern. Recently I did. It was a long holiday weekend and I let myself be lazy for two days. But on the third day, I decided to run errands outside the house. The errands didn’t take long and normally I would have headed directly home.
I didn’t. Instead I decided to explore some places I’ve been interested in. One was Japanese book and stationary store. It was a large space, wonderfully stocked with pens, notebooks, Studio Ghibli offerings, chatchkes, manga, and books. I’ll have to go back when I have more money to spend!
I also visited a brewery taproom. There are quite a few in Austin I haven’t been to. So I went to 4th Tap. They were having a video game tournament and were quite busy. But it was a fun atmosphere and the bartender was friendly. I got to meet a few people and talk about beer and gaming. And I got to try some new beers – including two IPAs that I actually liked.
I had a very interesting and satisfying day. And I had experiences I wouldn’t have had if I’d stayed at home or just gone to a movie like I usually do. I found moments of joy and thoroughly enjoyed an amount of socialization that would normally exhaust me.
Is this something I will start doing regularly? Probably not. But it is something to do on occasion and as my budget and temperament allow. Will it always be joyful? Likely not. But I believe I will always find moments of joy in going outside my routine and comfort zone.