Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Definition of Insanity

Albert Einstein is often quoted as saying that the definition of insanity is "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." As the kids like to say: Tru dat.

How many of us fall into a routine because of its comfort or familiarity without really examining what it does to us on a personal level? How often do we (un-) knowingly enter into something, and once we're committed to it, think to ourselves, "This seems like something I've done before..." It's like deja vu all over again (apologies to Yogi Berra). And yet, we can't seen to break away from the cycle. That comfort level, that friendliness, that warmth is all too enticing. Or we are too bothered by the possibility of change that we fall back on the familiar out of habit.

Remember, friends: habits come in both "good" and "bad" flavors.

So it goes with me lately. I've been especially introspective lately, and I've noticed that I have a routine, my active life has a routine, my work life has a routine, my relationships have a routine. These routines cycle with the seasons, cycle with paychecks, cycle with what's on sale at the grocery store. I've always done what I've always done, and its worked pretty well, even though I'm sure I've missed out on new experiences because of my set ways. But with this introspection comes Doubt. Yes, with a capital D.

What if I changed my training habits? Will I really be able to run a faster race? What if I change the way I respond to relationship issues? Do I risk damaging the relationship, or do I realize things that were always present in a new light? You don't know what you don't know, and you won't know until you know; it just happens itself upon you. Man, that sounds like a lot of psycho-babble (or Yogi-isms), but if you've ever been in the Doubting Place, you get what I mean.

So with Spring, I've been ready-ing myself for change. It fits the season. The timing feels right. I have a new-found enthusiasm for new-ness. I've read about things that interest me, not just what I need to read for school or book club. Its pretty liberating.

I'll leave you with another quote, and wish you a good week of discovery, however circular things seem:

"For everything you have missed, you have gained something else, and for everything you gain, you lose something else." - Ralph Waldo Emerson