Variety…


Ok, so it’s cliche, but it’s true.  Variety really is the “spice of life.”  I thrive on the mini-change that comes with variety.  I love meals that are widely varied, clothes in different colors and styles, and I have more than one hobby.  It is also one of the rare areas where Kevin and I are opposites.  He could eat the same few foods every day (and for lunch/breakfast he does) of his life!  He has only had one hobby since I’ve known him.  He’s as steady as they come, and I love that about him.  I hope he likes that I’m a little unpredictable.  I’ll just let myself believe that.  We all need our little delusions.

Yesterday, we had corned beef and cabbage for lunch and even had a mid-day dessert– scones with whipped cream and strawberries.  YUM.  It seems like something so small, but that kind of variety really perks me up when life starts getting a little tedious.  I wonder though, why don’t I do it more often?  Lunches around here tend to be of the, “Every man, woman, and child for him or herself” variety.  Yeah.  not the kind of variety I was going for, you know?

I notice that even how and what I clean makes a difference.  You’d think that routine would be optimal, right?  I mean, if every day you get up, make your bed, pick up around the room, get dressed, wipe down the bathroom when you’re done, go into the living room, sort the email, get the kids going on whatever they need to be going on, take something out for dinner… you know the routines.  Everyone has something routine they do, and common sense says to stick to those routines so that everything has a fair shot of getting done.  The problem?  Well, for people like me, routines bog us down and make us weary.  I’ve actually found myself being that door on the hinge that Solomon mentions in Proverbs.  I just flip over and go back to sleep when the day’s “routines” hit me upon awakening.  I learned a while ago that when I get that feeling, I just need to get up and shake it up a bit.  Sometimes that means jumping right out of bed and into the shower.  Other times, I get up and go do something– anything.  Sometimes I grab a book and read a little BEFORE I get up– anything to mix it up just enough that I don’t dread the start of a day.

Yeah, I know.  I should be mature and responsible and “do what needs to be done” regardless of how I feel about it.  Well, that’s the beauty of being “self-employed” as a homemaker.  I get to set the job requirements, and I say to add more spice to my life.  Don’t get me wrong.  There are times when I shut down and don’t even do the minimum of what I should.  That’s not what I’m talking about.  It’s a little like when I was in high school.  They used to tell us, “Do Math and English first, then work on your other subjects.  You need to do the harder things first while your mind is fresh.”  Well, it didn’t take me long to realize that my mind wasn’t fresh first thing in the morning.  I always did better if I started off with my easiest subjects, knocked them out of the way, and then do the others.  It’s how my mind works.  Yes, the “right way” was to do it the way they said, but the point was to give the more intense subjects your best attention– mine was after 10 a.m.

I do the same thing with hobbies.  I like to switch it up.  Sew today, make cards tomorrow, do a little digital scrapbooking the next day, plan for ideas on other days.  When I feel like I get in a rut with those, I tend to pull out less common hobbies.  Out of the blue, I’ll have an overwhelming desire to embroider, smock, or crochet.  Sometimes I even pull out paper and start sketching.  I can’t draw to save my life, but I do it… because it interests me.

Even in my writing, I find that I do the same thing.  I can be going gangbusters on a book, write twenty thousand words in a week or so, but then WHAM.  I wake up and want to work on something else.  You know, I used to ignore that desire and try to force myself to stick to one thing– particularly if I had a deadline.  I quit.  First of all, it fails.  I just can’t do it.  It’s not how I think.  My mind is much more creative when I give it a variety of things to work on.  But in addition to that, I found that I actually write almost as quickly by taking time OFF and working on something else as I did when I worked on only one thing.  I think it’s because when I don’t get that variety, I end up playing a game of Free Cell, Spider, or some other thing to give my mind a break.  Just as guys in offices need to go to the break room and chat for a few minutes every now and then to give their minds a rest, so do I when I’m working on a book.

I just thought it was kind of interesting.  Variety.  Who knew my whole life would be one giant variety show.  Oy.  Then again… I guess that does follow the whole, “suck the marrow out of life” thing, doesn’t it?

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