Slow Down, You Move Too Fast

While there is no absolute certainty, I suspect today will be quite a bit like yesterday and not very different from tomorrow.

The sun rose as it did yesterday and will tomorrow. The birds happy for springtime will be singing tomorrow morning just like today. This new day will be unseasonably warm, just like the ‘morrow will be and yesterday was. I will go to the same job today as I did yesterday and will tomorrow. Today I awoke in the same bed as yesterday and will awaken in tomorrow. Exactly like yesterday and likely tomorrow, the same leg will go into my pants first. I will use the same soap in the shower today along with the same aftershave, deodorant, and toothpaste as yesterday and tomorrow.

Some would call such things that repetitiously happen day after day a rut.  I prefer “groove”.  Just like a turntable needle tracks a record one groove at a time, my life is tracked one day at a time. Without the groove there were be no structure for the needle to reproduce music from.  Without my groove, life would be without much form or direction.

Definition of a “rut”:  When life feels the same all the time and nothing much is changing or happening. A rut is like a channel that has been worn into the ground in the same place similar to what is created by a vehicle going over and over the same ground again and again . It becomes so worn and deep it is hard to get out once something goes in. Life is a ‘rut’ when one’s thinking places life’s repetition into a negative light.

Living in a rut:  After pushing the snooze for the 5th time reluctantly you start moving from horizontal to vertical.  Feeling sleepy there’s a wish is for another hour’s sleep as you realize you have to go to work.  Having overslept there will be no exercise today.  There is only time to shower, dress and head to work grabbing a fast food sandwich on the way, if anything. Travel to work is spent day dreaming about all the things you could be doing;  all that you wish would fill your day instead of working.   Life seems boring and truly living seems to be located somewhere else.  There is little awareness of “what is”.

Definition of a “groove”:   When life is lived within a settled routine and is mostly the same day-to-day.  A groove is like a furrow one has made from footsteps over and over on the same path repeatedly.  A usual situation or an activity that one enjoys or to which one is well suited and takes pleasure or satisfaction in or interacts harmoniously with. Life is a groove when one’s thinking places life’s day to day sameness in a positive light.

Living in a groove:  You wake up just ten before the alarm and while more sleep is appealing, getting up is just as attractive.  Waking before the alarm will allow a few minutes of stretching or exercises that always makes one feel better after.  There is casual time to check email and the news on-line, on TV or radio.  There will be time for breakfast at home.  Travel to work will include organizing thoughts for the day’s work along with hope for a coming vacation soon or retirement someday.  Life feels good and worth living.  There is gratefulness for ‘what is’.

The difference between a “rut” and a “groove”?  Ninety percent or more of the answer has to do with attitude and little to do with circumstances!

Speaking honestly, I do sway between ruts and grooves, although I am grateful to spend much more time in the latter than the former.  If I knew exactly what makes the difference I would bottle it and become a billionaire selling it to others.

What I do know for certain is “I find what I go looking for”.  If it is a rut I see my life as, that is what I will find.  If I see my life as a groove, I will likewise find myself cruising within one.  And when I am stuck in a rut and want out of it what do I do?  While it is an imperfect ‘fix”, I find ‘fake it until you make it’ to be a good practice.  A rut only gets deeper the longer I mentally allow myself to stay there.  I can get back into my ‘groove’ by adjusting my thinking.  It takes a bit of mental wrestling and I don’t always win the match, but most of the time I do.  And the more I wrangle with my thoughts, the more I get them moving in the direction of my choice.

A concept so basic and simplistic, most will only think I am expressing some sort of well intended hogwash or pie-in-the-sky wishful thinking.  I am certain those stuck in a rut will think that, while those in a groove will readily see the wisdom of the simple concept.  Grove or rut?  It’s purely up to you.

Today I am grateful to be feeling “groovy”.

Slow down, you move too fast,
You’ve got to make the morning last
Just kickin’ down the cobble-stones,
Lookin’ for fun and feelin’groovy
Life I love you, all is groovy.
From Feeling Groovy (59th St. Bridge Song) by Simon & Garfunkel